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

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

Sauce:
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

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pumpkin Mousse (Low Carb/Low Fat)

With all the delicious flavors of Fall, pumpkin mousse is such a quick and delicious dessert for the Holidays.
Yum.
Pumpkin Mousse:
Makes 6 (1/2 cup) servings

1 (1 oz.) package sugar free instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup fat free milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 1/4 cups light whipped topping, divided
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Whisk the instant pudding and milk together and let it set for 2 minutes until it thickens up. Add in the pumpkin puree and spices and mix well. Gently fold in 1 1/2 cups whipped topping until well combined. Divide into 6 dishes (about 1/2 cup per serving). Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, top each dessert with 2 tablespoons of light whipped topping and sprinkle with ground nutmeg.

For 1/2 cup of mousse: 98 calories, 3g fat, .02g saturated fat, 237mg sodium, 13g carbohydrates,
1g fiber, 2g protein

I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving this week!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with Pomegranate Sauce (Low Carb/Low Fat)

This cheesecake is so tasty. It's light and refreshing, oppose to other rich and heavy cheesecakes. And the pomegranate sauce makes it so pretty and festive for the holiday season. It's a great option to add to the dessert table on Thanksgiving or Christmas.
And for heaven's sake, it's just so good!
Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with Pomegranate Sauce:
Makes 12 Servings

1 cup finely ground walnuts
1 TBS splenda brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 TBS coconut oil, melted
3 (8 oz. packages) fat-free cream cheese
1 1/2 cups plain non-fat greek yogurt
1/4 cup + 2 TBS light sugar (sugar/stevia blend)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 TBS cold water
1/2 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
2 TBS light sugar
seed of 1/2 pomegranate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 10-inch cheesecake pan with removable sides. Cut out a circle of parchment paper to fit on the bottom, and set in the pan after it has been sprayed.
In a food processor, process the walnuts, brown sugar, ginger and melted coconut oil together. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for about 10-15 minutes or until it begins turning a light golden brown. Remove and let cool.
In a small heat proof bowl, mix the gelatin and cold water together and set aside to let gelatin get soft. Wash the food processor and then blend the cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla together until smooth.
Heat about 1/2 inch of water in a small pan over medium heat. Place the bowl with the gelatin in the water and whisk until the gelatin has dissolved, when it is clear (about 3-4 minutes). With the food processor turned on, pour in the warm gelatin mixture and mix well. Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5-6 hours.
In a small sauce pan, add the juice and remaining sugar. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.Refrigerate until ready to serve. Then add pomegranate seeds and drizzle over cheesecake slices.

For 1/12 the pie: 159 calories, 6g fat, 2g saturated fat, 318mg sodium, 17g carbohydrates, 
.5g fiber, 12g protein