Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fresh Fruit Treat, Guilt-free and Sweet

Most of the dessert recipes that I post end up falling under the "seldom splurge" category. Sure, they are lighter than a typical sweet treat but they still contain too many calories and too much sugar to be considered "guilt-free". This dessert is more diet-friendly than most of the others and provides a large portion for only 110 calories. Farmers have reported that strawberries (and peaches) are reaching their peak ripeness ahead of schedule this year. That means that you can already find the red, juicy varieties in your grocery store. Strawberries are one of my all time favorite fruits so I decided to use them to create a sugar-free strawberry shortcake. I actually ran across the recipe on the back of a box of Truvia natural sweetener. I know that I tend to use Splenda in place of sugar in a lot of my recipes but that is mostly because granulated Splenda measures cup for cup like sugar, making it very easy to substitute. Otherwise, I like to use Truvia. The recipe called for a low-fat baking mix to make the shortcake. I used Carbquik because it is lower in calories and higher in fiber than other baking mixes but you could use Heart Healthy Bisquick for slightly higher calorie stats and less fiber. I loved so many things about this recipe. It was very quick and simple. It used only a few ingredients. It made 4 portions so there weren't a ton of leftovers to go to waste. The portions were quite large for a minimal amount of calories. And most of all, it was lightly sweet, fluffy, and absolutely delicious. This strawberry shortcake will definitely be a go-to summer dessert in my house.
Strawberry Shortcake
serves 4

Ingredients
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
6 packets Truvia
1 cup low fat baking mix
3 packets Truvia
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or skim milk)
1/2 cup fat free Cool Whip
  1. Prepare fresh strawberries: rinse, hull and slice. Sprinkle 6 packets of Truvia onto strawberries. Stir and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Mix together baking mix, 3 packets of Truvia, and milk. Stir until a soft dough forms. (You may have to add a couple more tablespoons of milk)
  4. Drop 4 spoonfuls of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-12 minutes until golden brown. Cool.
  5. Slice shortcakes in half and fill with strawberries and cool whip. Top with an additional layer of strawberries and cool whip.
Nutrition: (with Carbquik) 110 calories, 21g carbohydrate, 5g protein, 5g fat, 12g fiber
weight watchers points: 1
weight watchers plus points: 3

Nutrition: (with Heart Healthy Bisquick) 148 calories, 29g carbohydrate, 3g protein, 3g fat, 2g fiber
weight watchers points: 3
weight watchers points plus: 4
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lightly Lemon

With the time change and Spring right around the corner, I can't help but dream of the fresh fruits that come with the warm weather. Since there is still some time before most fruits will reach their peak, I chose to use one that is available year round. I wanted to make a light dessert and decided that lemon bars would be the perfect selection. The crust is made from a mixture of whole wheat flour and oats. At first, I thought the addition of oats was a bit odd but they are actually what made crust so delicious. The filling had the perfect citrus flavor from using a combination of the lemon juice and zest. It used a combination of eggs and egg whites to make a light, fluffy texture. Just because this is a lighter version treat, does not mean that they are healthy or that anybody should devour the whole pan. On my blog, I like to refer to foods like this as a "seldom splurge". Overall, I thought this was a great dessert to kick off the season and everybody seemed to enjoy it just as much as I did. The boyfriend said they reminded him of a Krispy Kreme lemon filled donut. Not exactly what I was going for, but I'll take it.

Low-fat Lemon Bars
adapted from Our Scented Cottage
serves 16

Ingredients
crust:
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup quick oats
3 tbsp butter

filling:
1 egg
1 egg white
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
juice and zest of 1 large lemon
powder sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray. 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, and oats. Using a pastry blender, add butter until mixture is crumbly. Press in bottom of baking dish and bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together egg and egg white. Add sugar and beat until creamy. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Pour lemon mixture over pre-baked crust and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until center is set.
Nutrition: 125 calories, 24g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 3g fat, 1g fiber
weight watchers points: 3
weight watchers plus points: 4
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Friday, March 11, 2011

Hello Portobello!

While brainstorming about what to make for dinner yesterday, I remembered a dish that I had made once before I started my blog. I couldn't remember the exact flavors of the Chicken Portobello Lasagna but I could recall that everybody seemed to enjoy the dish. It wasn't until I sat down at the computer to post this, that I realized the repetition of my recent entrees. Chicken, mushrooms, and pasta seem to have been on my mind lately. I promise I will change things up a bit but until then, I definitely encourage you to try this lasagna. It was creamy and delicious, and of course healthy too.

Chicken Portobello Lasagna
adapted from Southern Living
serves 6

Ingredients
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 tbsp light butter
3 (6 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
1 (8 oz) package sliced fresh baby Portobello mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup
1 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups fat-free shredded cheddar cheese
6 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter in large skillet. Add chicken, mushrooms, and garlic. Saute on medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly.
  3. In a large bowl, combine soup, yogurt, salt, and pepper. Add spinach and chicken mixture. Fold in cheddar cheese.
  4. Spoon 1/4 mixture into baking dish. Cover with 2 lasagna noodles. Repeat layers twice; top with remaining mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake covered for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 additional minutes until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Nutrition: 276 calories, 21g carbohydrate, 38g protein, 4g fat, 3g fiber
weight watchers points: 6
weight watchers plus points: 7
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About Lauren

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Nutrition student with a passion for giving yummy recipes a healthy make-over. Future RD on a constant search for the best food finds. And new blogger trying to relay my tasty ideas to everyone else.

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Please feel free to email me with any questions, suggestions, or comments at lamandle88@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you.

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