Posted in Bake, Dessert, Easy, Spices, Tips/Hints

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Wiskey


This is a twist on a classic pumpkin pie recipe. Someone gave me this recipe and after looking at the ingredients I decided to make it delicious and lite. It is the same recipe but half that calories and fat but I promise you can’t tell the difference. This comes out so good and once again the Graham cracker/date crust works perfectly. This is a great recipe for Thanksgiving but trust me, it will be a hit any time of the year!!

Enjoy!!

Preheat Oven 375o

Serves: 8

INGREDIENTS

1 cup graham crumbs

6 ounces pitted dates

15 oz canned unsweetened pumpkin

9 oz fat free evaporated milk

½  cup granulated sugar

½ up egg substitute

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice

3 oz Fireball whiskey

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a food processor, pulse together dates and graham cracker crumbs for several minutes until it holds together between your fingers.
  2. Press pie crust mixture into a 8” pie pan on the bottom and up the sides.
  3. Beat the pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, egg substitute, salt and pie spice.  Pour the mixture into a 9-inch pie shell.
  4. Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the filling is set.
  5. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Serve chilled with whipped cream (if desired).
Posted in Appetizers, Easy, Roasted, Side dish, Side Dishes, Soup, Spices, Vegetables

Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash and Sweet Potato Soup


Serves: 6

Preheat Oven 400o

Estimated Calories per serving: 230

Fat grams: 2 grams

Ingredients:

1 medium butternut squash

2 sweet potatoes

1 acorn squash

1 onion, chopped

5 cups chicken stock

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon cardamom

¼ – ½ teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Spray a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil with cooking spray.  Cut butternut, acorn squash and potatoes in half and place on baking sheet cut side down on baking sheet.
  2. Roast until they are soft (potatoes may have to come out earlier).  Set aside and let cool.
  3. Heat a 5 – 6 quart pot on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Sauté onion until soft.  Add chicken stock and bring to boil.
  4. Scoop out the insides of the butternut, acorn squash and potatoes and add to the pot.
  5. Season with cayenne, cardamom and nutmeg and allow to simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes.
  6. Using a handheld immersion blender (or standard blender in batches), puree the soup.
  7. Serve hot with sour cream, if desired.
Posted in Dessert, Season, Spices, Tips/Hints

Pumpkin Cream Pie in Mason Jar


Pumpkin Cream Pie in Mason Jars
This is a fun desert for guests and family. A twist on Pumpkin Pie, this recipe is really delicious and light. If you love Pumpkin Pie (and who doesn’t this time of year?) then you are going to want to try this one. Pay close attention to the crust, as this crust can be used for any cake or pie that calls fro Graham Cracker Crust. It really is a winner!

Serves: 10

Estimate Calories preserving: 196

Fat grams: 5 grams

Ingredients:

Crust:

6 ounces pitted dates, minced

1 cup graham-cracker crumbs

Filling:

1 can (15 ounce) canned pumpkin

½ cup sugar

1 cup skim milk

½ cup fat free half and half

2T. cornstarch

1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Topping:

½ cup heavy cream

1 T. sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, pulse together dates and graham cracker crumbs for several minutes until it holds together between your fingers.
  2. Press an even amount of graham cracker crust into 12 mason jars and set aside.
  3. Blend all ingredients together, cook on medium heat until thickened.  Pour an even amount in each mason jar.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  4. Beat together heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until thick.  Spoon onto each pumpkin pie and serve.
Posted in Bake, Dessert, Quick Breads, Spices, Tips/Hints

Banana Bread


Preheat Oven 350o

Serves: 8

Estimated Calories per serving: 180

Fat: 2 grams

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups flour

¾ cups brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1 Tablespoon low fat/low calorie butter spread, melted

½ cup egg substitute

3 overripe bananas, mashed

Directions:

  1. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves.
  3. With an electric mixer on medium speed, mix together apple sauce, melted butter spread, egg substitute and mashed bananas.
  4. Add dry ingredients and mix on slow speed until all ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Pour batter into pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.
  6. Cool at least 10 minutes
  7. Loosen sides and remove pans.
Posted in Bake, Beef, Main Courses, Spices, Tips/Hints

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf


This is a recipe that my family loves….actually anything with bacon is a big hit, but this recipe delivers great flavor with less fat and calories. Enjoy!

Serves 8

Preheat Oven 375o

Estimated Calories per serving: 300

Grams of fat: 10

Ingredients

10 slices center cut bacon

2 pounds 93% lean ground beef

½ cup egg substitute

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large jalapenos, seeded and chopped

½ cup breadcrumbs

½ cup chopped green onion

2 Tablespoons ketchup

2 Tablespoons pepper sauce

6 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ cup brown sugar                 

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, stir together beef, eggs, garlic, chopped jalapenos, bread crumbs, green onion, ketchup, pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper until combined.
  2. Shape mixture into a rectangle.
  3. Weave bacon into a square, going crosswise and lengthwise then place meatloaf on the end.
  4. Roll bacon around meatloaf.
  5. Bake 30 minutes covered, then uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the center reaches 165o
  6. Let stand 5 – 10 minutes before serving
Posted in Beef, Easy, Main Courses, Rice, Slow Cook, Spices

Lowfat Beef Chili


It is winter time and what goes better on a cold, snowy night than a nice hot bowl of chili?  I put this recipe together with the idea of really enjoying a hearty meal that is light on the mid-section.  I did serve this with brown rice and although the rice adds calories, brown rice is much healthier then white rice so you can enjoy.  Stay warm and enjoy!

Low Fat Beef Chili

Serves 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours slow cooker or 2 hours stovetop cooking

Estimated values per serving:

Calories =   350 Fat =  6 grams

Ingredients:

1 onion – chopped

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup Jack Daniels

2 – 2 ½ pounds London broil, cubbed

1 – 2 jalapenos peppers, seeded and minced

2 (12 ounce) jars chili sauce

1 can (28 ounces ) crushed tomatoes

2 – 3 dashes Tabasco sauce (optional)

1 tablespoon paprika

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon hickory smoke salt

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 (15.5 ounces) can of red kidney beans or black beans

Directions:

1.    Heat a large pot on medium and coat with cooking spray.  Add beef and sauté for 5 minutes until browned. 

2. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes more then add garlic to sauté for 1 minute.  Add Jack Daniels and cook until liquid is absorbed.

3.    Add jalapenos, chili sauce, tomatoes, Tabasco sauce, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, hickory smoke salt, liquid smoke and oregano and stir.

4.    Once the mixture comes to a boil, you can lower the heat and keep on the stove to simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, or transfer to a crock pot and set on high for 4 hours and low for an additional 2 hours.

5.    Stir in beans ½ hour before the chili will be served.  Serve hot.

Posted in Cooking Styles/Techniques, Easy, Main Courses, Poultry, Saute`, Spices, Vegetables

Asian Style Chicken and Broccoli


Serves 4

Estimated Calories per serving: 285

Fat Grams: 5

Ingredients:

4 cups broccoli, cut into pieces

4 split boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

1 teaspoon oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup teriyaki sauce

¼ cup hoisin sauce

1 Tablespoon hot chili sauce

Directions:

  1. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to the broccoli in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 – 3 minutes.  Strain water out of broccoli and set aside.
  2. Heat pan on medium hit heat, add oil to pan and sauté chicken until browned and cooked through.  Add cooked chicken to broccoli, cover and set aside.
  3. Add garlic to pan and cook for 1 minutes.  Add teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce and chili sauce and cook until bubbly.
  4. Add chicken and broccoli and stir until heated through.
  5. Remove from pan and serve hot with rice, rice noodles or riced cauliflower.
Posted in Braised, Main Courses, Poultry, Sauces, Slow Cook, Spices, Tips/Hints

Chicken Paprika


YouTube: https://youtu.be/e8ZyJpqvUMA

Serves 6

Estimated Values per serving:

Calories = 480                                              Fat = 4 grams

Ingredients:

Cooking Spray

1 T. olive oil

6 skinless/boneless chicken breasts

¼ cup flour

4 cups onions – thinly sliced

4 cloves minced garlic

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 cup dry white wine

2 cups fat free chicken broth

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup chopped tomato

2 tablespoons paprika

1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup fat free half and half

1 Tablespoon corn starch

1 package of yolk free noodles

Directions:

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper and lightly coat with flour.
  2. Heat a sauté pan on medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Sear chicken pieces until brown on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and place in a tray.
  3. Add onions to the pan and sauté, covered, for 15 minutes on medium heat until golden brown, stirring often.
  4. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute.
  5. Add the vinegar and wine and scrape any pieces from bottom of skillet. Add chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  6. Add the tomato paste, tomato, and paprika. Stir until well blended. Add the thyme and bay leaf.
  7. Add the reserved chicken pieces and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. Whisk half and half and corn starch in a small bowl and then add to pan.  Continue to simmer another 10 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
  9. While simmering, cook egg noodles according to package directions.  Drain, rinse and transfer to a serving platter
  10. Transfer chicken to the serving platter.
  11. Pour sauce over chicken.
Posted in Grilling, Main Courses, Pork, Poultry, Spices, Tips/Hints, Vegetables

Mixed Grill


This is such a great summer recipe and the best part is that you can get creative with it.  If you don’t like eating pork, simply substitute it with beef instead.  If you also don’t like some of the vegetable suggestions in the recipe, you can substitute others, some other suggestions might be escarole, eggplant,endive leaves or cauliflower .

The important thing is to have fun with it.

Enjoy…

Mixed Grill

Serves 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Grill Time: 20 – 25 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 250                        Fat: 7 grams

Mixed Grill

Ingredients:

Seasoning:

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon pepper

      Vegetables:

10 ounce package button mushrooms – cut in half

2 zucchini – cut into 1” pieces

2 red bell peppers – cut into large pieces

2 medium onions – quartered

2 large potatoes  – cut or sliced

      Meat:

1 pound boneless pork loin

1 pound boneless/skinless chicken breasts

Directions:

  1. Heat an outdoor or indoor grill to 400o.
  2. Combine all spices in a small bowl.
  3. Season meats with half of the seasoning and set aside until ready to grill.
  4. Combine the zucchini and mushrooms in a bowl, coat with cooking spray and fold in half of the remaining seasoning.
  5. Combine peppers and onions in another bowl, coat with cooking spray and fold in the remaining seasoning.
  6. If you are using an outdoor grill, coat a vegetable basket with cooking spray and add the zucchini and mushrooms to the basket.  Use an additional vegetable basket for the onions and peppers.  If you only have 1 vegetable basket, you can grill the vegetables in batches.
  7. If the potatoes are large enough, add them directly on the grill (coating them with cooking spray first), if not, use a vegetable basket to grill them as well.
  8. Grill the vegetables and potatoes for 10 – 15 minutes until browned and softened.
  9. If you have a large grill, add the pork loin while the vegetables and potatoes are grilling.  Grill the pork for about 7 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 165o.  Remove from the grill, cover and rest the pork until ready to carve.

10. Grill the chicken breasts for 5 – 7 minutes on each side.

11. Transfer the grilled vegetables to a large serving platter.  Carve the pork loin and transfer to the serving platter.  Remove the cooked chicken breasts from the grill and transfer to the serving platter.

12. Serve hot.

Posted in Pork, Rub, Salads, Sauces, Season, Slow Cook, Spices, Vegetables

Pulled Pork with Amercian Style Coleslaw


Every year this weekend kicks off the holiday BBQ season.  To get ready, I am experimenting with some classic menus that won’t make you feel guilty.  Tonight we had pulled pork and coleslaw sandwiches.

One of the reasons I love serving this to company is because it is better if made a day or two before the BBQ.  The coleslaw should be made at least 24 hour in advance and kept cold until ready to serve.  The longer it sits in the refrigerator, the better it gets.  The pulled pork can definitely be made the day before and heated up and served in a crock pot.  So if you are looking for hassle free cooking the day of your party, this is a great menu.

The family loved it (even if it was 60 degrees and cloudy) and was asking for seconds.

Enjoy!

American Style Coleslaw

Pulled Pork with Amercian Style Coleslaw

Serves 8

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Refrigerate overnight

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 55                           Fat: 2 grams

Ingredients:

½ cup low fat mayonnaise

¼ cup skim milk

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons white vinegar

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon celery seed

¼ teaspoon salt

1 scallion – chopped

4 cups shredded cabbage

1 cup shredded carrot

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, milk, sugar, vinegar, pepper, onion powder, celery seed, and salt.
  2. Add shredded cabbage, carrot and scallion and toss.
  3. Refrigerate overnight or for several days and serve cold.

Pulled Pork

Serves 8

Pre heat oven 250o

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Bake Time: 4 – 5 hours

Cook time: 30 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 200                        Fat: 5 grams

Pork Loin Rub Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless pork loin

1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

2 teaspoons ground oregano

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon thyme

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Trim any excess fat from pork and set aside.
  2. To make the rub, combine all the ingredients. Rub over the surface of the pork loin to coat.
  3. Place pork in baking pan and cover with aluminum foil.  Cook pork for about 4 – 5 hours.
  4. Cool pork until you are able to handle it then shred the meat.

BBQ Sauce Ingredients:

1 cup strong coffee

1 jar (12 ounces) chili sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons molasses

½ teaspoon liquid smoke

¼ cup white vinegar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 – 3 dashes pepper sauce (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in large saucepan and bring to a simmer on medium low heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Add sauce to shredded pork and mix well.  Serve hot.