Friday, May 2, 2014

Chicken Bacon and Guacamole Mushroom Stack

Grilled chicken, crispy bacon, fresh sliced tomato, fresh homemade guacamole and spinach piled high in between two grilled portabella mushroom tops.
This thing is massive and delicious.
This is a recipe I actually did quite a while ago and I'm not sure why I haven't posted it until now. It's a giant sandwich, minus the bread. This thing is so big I made the serving for this as half of the sandwich. I'm sure there are plenty of people who could eat the whole thing, but I sure couldn't.

Chicken Bacon and Guacamole Mushroom Stack:
Makes 1 sandwich

2 portabella mushroom tops
1 TBS butter
1 chicken breast half
1 TBS olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 piece of bacon, halved and cooked
2 slices tomato
1/2 avocado
1 TBS diced tomato
1 TBS diced red onion
1 TBS chopped cilantro
1 tsp fresh lime juice
dash of salt
1/4 cup fresh spinach

Heat the oil in a small skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook 3-5 minutes on each side or until cooked all the way through. Set aside.
Mash the avocado, diced tomato, onion, cilantro and lime juice and dash of salt. Mix well and set aside.
Remove the stem from the portabella mushroom tops and scrape the insides as best as you can. Rinse well. Melt the butter in the skillet and brown the mushrooms on both sides until they are tender and nicely brown. Place on a plate lined with paper towel to cool slightly. Place one top on a plate and begin loading. Start with the tomato, slice the chicken and place on top of the tomato. Add the bacon and then load on the guacamole. Top with the spinach and finish off with the other portabella mushroom top. Cut it in half, or just eat the whole thing.

For 1/2 of the stack: 277 calories, 23g fat, 367mg sodium, 11g carbs, 5g fiber, 8g protein

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sausage Zucchini Ravioli (Low Carb/Low Fat)

My best friend lives next door to me and she loves to try out any recipes I'm working on. So I usually set some aside for her. I like how she gives me constructive criticism, whereas my husband and children just give the thumbs-up or thumbs-down. 
When I made these Sausage Zucchini Raviolis and took a few to her, she said it was by far her favorite of any of the recipes I've had her try.
Of course removing the use of noodles and using strips of zucchini in it's place is going to drastically reduce the amount of carbohydrates for these. But each little one is packed with flavor. Three cheeses, sausage and herbs topped with a homemade marinara sauce. And of course, you have to throw more cheese on there!
Originally I had tried cooking these in a skillet for a quick, easy and crispy outside. But the little suckers just wouldn't hold together, even with a toothpick stuck inside of them, and they looked a mess. But baking them worked wonderfully and kept them looking pretty. And I like my food looking pretty!!

Sausage Zucchini Ravioli:
Makes 15 ravioli

4 oz. Italian sausage
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 TBS freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

3 medium zucchini

15 oz. tomato sauce
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp marjoram 
1/4 tsp onion powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Start by slicing off the top and bottom parts of the zucchinis. Then using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, thinly slice the zucchini horizontally into strips until you have 30 decent sized slices. Set aside.
Brown the sausage in a skillet. Mix the sausage with the remaining filling ingredients.
To assemble the ravioli, lay one strip of zucchini vertically. Lay a second strip horizontally. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center where the zucchini cross. Starting with one of the vertical slices, fold one end into the center, then one of the horizontal ends, the vertical and ending with the last horizontal until you have a nice zucchini package. Lay seam-side-down onto a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. You can insert a toothpick into the center of the ravioli if you feel like they need to be more secure.
When all of the ravioli are assembled, spray the tops with the olive oil cooking spray and bake them for 25 minutes, or until the zucchinis are tender.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Saute the garlic until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and the seasonings and let it heat through.
When the ravioli is done, top with the marinara and sprinkle with fresh parmesan cheese.

For 3 ravioli (1 serving): 175 calories, 9g fat, 422mg sodium, 12g carbs, 2g fiber, 11g protein

Friday, April 18, 2014

Spicy Turkey Meatballs (Low Carb/Low Fat)

I am a big fan of spicy food. And although these are not super spicy, they have just enough kick to them to satisfy me without being too hot for my kids to eat.
It's a very basic and versatile meatball recipe that can be used with any type of sauce that you want. But this is one of my favorite sauces for them. 
The ginger, orange zest and chilies are a delicious combination. 
I love sweet with a little spice in it!!

Spicy Turkey Meatballs:
Makes 24 meatballs/4 servings of 6 meatballs

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 egg

1/2 cup water
3 TBS white vinegar
2 TBS low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
3 TBS stevia in the raw
3 TBS chopped scallions, plus more for garnish
5-6 dried chilies, chopped (most of the seeds removed, adjust to heat desire)
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp fresh orange zest
1 clove garlic, minced

Mix turkey, almond meal, onion, garlic powder and white pepper. Add the egg and mix completely.
Shape the meat into 24 meatballs and place on a baking sheet lined with greased foil. Broil for 7-10 minutes or until well browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
Whisk water, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, xanthan gum and stevia in a medium sized sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until it begins to thicken. Add the scallions, chilies, ginger, zest and garlic. Reduce heat to low and let simmer 5 minutes.
Add the meatballs and cover, letting the meatballs finish cooking through. About 8-10 minutes.
Sprinkle with additional scallions in desired and serve over rice or cauli-rice.

For 1 serving (6 meatballs): 221 calories, 14g fat, 580mg sodium, 4g carbs, 1g fiber, 20g protein

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies (Low Carb/Low Fat)

Peanut Butter. I love peanut butter. 
Most of the healthier, more diabetic-friendly peanut butter cookies that I've tried have been brittle, a little bitter, or lacking good peanut-buttery flavor. 
But then I made these cookies and they are perfect.
One time when I made them, I baked them a little too long, and they were still soft and chewy. Another time I left them out on a plate without covering them, and was sure they were going to be hard, but they were still soft and chewy. I even made a big batch of these for my Diabetic brother for his birthday, and when he was trying to be a "good diabetic" with limiting himself only 2 each day, he still had some left a week later, and guess what? They were still soft and chewy.
In case you haven't gotten the message, these cookies are very soft and chewy, no matter what.
Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies:
Makes 20 cookies

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp natural sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all the ingredients together until you have a sticky dough. Drop level cookie scoops onto a  baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (Don't press with a fork)
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet. Halfway through the cooling process, press criss-crosses into the cookies with a fork if desired.
On a side note, the cookies will firm as they cool.

For 1 cookie: Calories 95, Total Fat 6g, Sodium 365mg, Carbohydrates 7g, Protein 3g

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Zucchini Lasagna (Low Carb/Low Fat)

I served this to my family, hesitantly. I mean, there aren't any noodles in it! I thought my kids would just look at it and immediately reject it. But I was pleasantly surprised. The kids didn't even notice there weren't noodles at first and began eating it.
But then the older one said, "Mom...this tastes like lasagna, but I don't see where the noodles are."
I sighed. This was it. Once I told them, it would be over. There would be a child-sized riot. Forks would be thrown at me and the dinner table would surely be turned over.
"Well, sweetie, there aren't any noodles in it. I used zucchini instead."
A silence came over the family. The children looked at me a moment, as if contemplating whether or not I deserved to have their dinner thrown at my head.
And then my precious child said to me, "Wow. I couldn't even taste them." And they all went back to eating. I just about had an aneurysm.
 Another healthy recipe gets the stamp of approval from my children! That's a huge accomplishment to me.
But don't take their word for it. Give it a try.

Zucchini Lasagna:
Makes 12 servings

1 lb. lean ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
25 oz. tomato sauce
1 TBS dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8 inch thick
2 cups fat free ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese

Start with the zucchini by grilling or baking it until softened. Place on a paper towel to soak up the extra moisture and set aside. 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
In a large skillet, cook the beef, garlic and onion over medium-high heat until the meat is browned and the onions are tender. Add the tomato sauce and the seasonings. Reduce the heat to low and cover to let simmer until heated through. 
In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, egg and parmesan cheese. Set aside.
To put the lasagna together, spoon just enough of the sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 dish to coat the bottom so the lasagna won't stick. Begin layering, starting with the zucchini, laying slightly overlapping them until the pan is covered. Next spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture evenly over the zucchini, spooning dollops all around and then gently spreading it around to coat. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat, using 1/2 of the remaining sauce, 1/2 of the remaining zucchini, 1/2 of the remaining ricotta mixture and 1/2 of the remaining mozzarella. Repeat one more time, ending with the mozzarella cheese. 
Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until the cheese on top is bubbly and lightly browned. Let set about 5 minutes before serving.

For 1/12 of the lasagna: 231 calories, 11g fat, 406mg sodium, 9g carbs, 1g fiber, 21g protein

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Parmesan Crusted Butternut Squash (Low Carb/Low Fat)

I used to be one of those people that used to only like their squash swimming with butter and brown sugar. But once I ventured into eating squash in it's more savory form, I fell in love. Now it's my preferred choice. Especially when it comes to this recipe.
 The squash is seasoned and tossed with some healthy collard greens.
 It's topped with chopped nuts and delicious parmesan cheese.
And it's baked to warm perfection.

Parmesan Crusted Butternut Squash:
Makes about 15 servings

2 medium butternut squash
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 TBS olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped collard greens
1/2 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9x13 baking dish.
Peel squash, clean out seeds, and dice into 1 inch squares. Mix squash with garlic, parsley, 3 TBS olive oil, 1 tsp of salt and pour into baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour or until squash is tender when pierced with a fork.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, add nuts, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 TBS olive oil and parmesan cheese. Pulse a few times until it is mixed but not too finely chopped. Set aside.
When squash is done, toss in the collard greens and sprinkle the nut topping over the whole thing. Bake uncovered 5-7 more minutes, keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn, until the nuts are lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and serve.

For 1/15 the recipe: 96 calories, 7g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 217mg sodium, 8g carbohydrates,
2g fiber, 2g protein

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cranberry, Pear and Apple Crisp (Low Carb/Low Fat)

Ready for some more holiday goodness?!
There's nothing more satisfying than eating a dessert that is so sweet and delicious that you can't resist scooping another spoonful into your mouth, and you allow yourself to because it is healthy...
Welcome one such dessert into your life.
Apples and pears give this recipe a natural sweetness that hardly any sugar is even needed to enhance said sweetness. Baked cranberries balance the sweet with little bursts of tart flavor. Add some nuttiness with the cinnamon, almond and pecan topping.
I'm salivating just typing about this.
Let's get to the recipe before I wreck my computer with moisture.

Cranberry Pear and Apple Crisp:
Makes 9 servings

2 medium pears
1 large sweet apple
1 cup fresh whole cranberries
2 TBS lemon juice
zest of 1/2 lemon
3 TBS light sugar, divided (sugar/stevia blend)
1/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup pecan pieces
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the pears and apple, core and cut into 1 inch pieces. Toss pears, apples and cranberries in a bowl with lemon juice, zest and 1 TBS sugar. Set aside. 
In a food processor, add the almond meal, pecans, cinnamon, 2 TBS sugar and coconut oil and chop until fine. Add the sliced almonds and pulse a few times until almonds are slightly chopped. Pour the fruit into a 8x8 baking dish or a 2 qt. casserole dish. Crumble the topping evenly over the fruit mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until fruit is tender.

For 1/9 the recipe: 167 calories, 12g fat, 0g saturated fat, 2mg sodium, 15g carbohydrates,
3g fiber, 2g protein