Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cranberry Bean Soup

I have this in the pressure cooker right now - 1:30 minutes, beans were not presoaked. Where did I find dried cranberry beans? At a natural food store in Lexington. They aren't readily available in grocery stores.

~ jan

# 1 lb. dried cranberry beans
# 1 large onion, diced
# 1 stalk celery, diced
# 2 carrots, diced
# 1/4 lb. pancetta, chopped
# 2 garlic cloves, minced
# 2 c. peeled, seeded, and finely chopped tomatoes
# 1/2 c. chopped parsley
# 1/4 lb. spaghetti or tagliatelle, broken up into 1-inch pieces and cooked al dente
# salt
# black pepper
# 1 garlic clove, minced, for garnish
# olive oil, for garnish


Soak the beans in cold water to cover overnight. Drain and place them in a large saucepan with the onion, celery, and carrots. Cover with water, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until the beans are almost done, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, saute' the pancetta until it renders its fat. Add the garlic cloves and saute'. Add the tomatoes and parsley and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove 2 c. of beans from the saucepan and puree them in a food mill or food processor
. Stir the puree back into the soup. Add the tomato mixture and the spaghetti to the soup. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Cook the soup to warm it through. Garnish with minced garlic and a stream of olive oil.

Serves 8 as a first course.

Recipes from The Heart
of Sicily: Recipes and Reminiscences of Regaleali, a Country Estate by Anna Tasca Lanza (Clarkson Potter, copyright 1993 by Anna Tasca Lanza).

Monday, February 22, 2010

Raspberry Cream Pie

WOW!!! Linda from Eating Well... Living Thin created this amazing pie. It's a must try!!!

~ jan

1 1/2 cups sugar-free chocolate cookie or chocolate graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Two 8-ounce pkgs. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup Splenda
1/4 cup DaVinci sugar-free Raspberry syrup (or Torani, or any other brand)
2 cups Splenda-sweetened whipped cream (1 1/4 cups unwhipped) OR one 8-ounce container Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 cup sugar-free raspberry jam, warmed
Sugar-free dark chocolate shavings for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl combine cookie or graham crumbs with melted butter. Press into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate. Bake for 7 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

In a large bowl beat together cream cheese, Splenda, and syrup until smooth. Beat in 1/2 the whipped cream OR 1/2 of the container of Cool Whip. Pour filling into cooled crust. Spread warmed jam over the cream cheese mixture. Cover loosely with plastic wrap (try not to let the wrap stick to the jam – use 3 or 4 toothpicks if necessary) and chill for 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with remaining Cool Whip and chocolate shavings.

Makes 16 servings.

Per Serving: 155 Cal; 4 g Protein; 11 g Fat; 11 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 3 g Sugar; 150 mg Sodium

Source: Eating Well...Living Thin

Chipotle-Salsa Burger

Makes 4
157 calories

3/4 pound lean (93 or 95 percent lean) ground beef
1/4 cup Egg
Beaters or other egg substitute
3 tablespoons Panko or other
bread crumb
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon
slices red onion
8 tablespoons salsa
4 Arnolds Rounds or other
multi-grain bun

Combine first
six ingredients in a large bowl, shape into four patties.

a skillet sprayed with non-stick over medium-high heat. Cook burgers
until done (160F internal temperature) about 5 minutes a side.

with cheese (if desired), one onion slice and two tablespoons salsa.

Source:  Fight The Fat Foodie

Friday, February 12, 2010

Skinny Red Velvet Cupcakes

Skinny Red Velvet Cupcakes
Source: Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 26 Serving Size: 1 cupcake • Calories: 141 Points: 3 pts
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup light buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp red food coloring
Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake tins with liners. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flours, salt, cocoa, and baking powder. In another large bowl beat sugar, applesauce and butter. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix baking soda and vinegar. Add half of the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, mix well. Add buttermilk, red food coloring and mix well. Add the remaining dry ingredients and fold in vinegar and baking soda. Pour in prepared cupcake liners 3/4 of the way. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool, then frost with low fat cream cheese frosting. Makes 26 cupcakes.

Low Fat Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz 1/3 fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Copycat Red Lobster Crab Cakes

1 lb lump crab meat (make sure you check for shells before preparing)

½ teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced onions

1 tablespoon diced celery

2 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise

1 egg

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

¼ cup bread crumbs

Salt and Pepper to taste

Olive Oil or Pam for sautéing

To start, in a bowl combine all ingredients except for the crab and
the bread crumbs. Mix the ingredients together and then carefully mix in
the crab meat. Spread out the bread crumbs on the counter. Role crab
mixture into a ball about 2 inches or so in diameter. Put the ball in
the bread crumbs flattening it out into a patty about 1 inch thick by 3
inches in diameter. Refrigerate the crab cakes until you are ready to
cook them.

To cook, in a skillet, heat a small amount of olive oil, brown the crab
cake on each side for about 2-3 minutes, then reduce heat to low and
cook for an additional 8 minutes.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday morning tales from the scale…

It’s been awhile, and I’m not a happy girl.  First of all, Windows crashed, and I lost my ongoing journal about my weight loss.  I’ve got it until last August, it was backed up on my Mac, but from then on is gone.  Grrrrrr

But of course, I haven’t lost much since August, and since Christmas I’m up 2 lbs.  Not happy about it either.  I’m struggling big time here, it’s winter, I’m bored, nothing satisfies me, I’m always hungry, but I’m not going to backslide, I’ve come too far.

So, it’s time to kick it in the ass, Dwayne, get back in the saddle and lose those last 15 lbs.  I keep saying that, don’t I? 

Eating out is killer, too!  I’ve got to quit eating out, just can’t do it and eat healthy.  Life is a struggle, gotta do this one day at a time.  I should be counting my blessings, instead of fussing about gaining two pounds, in the overall scheme of things, that’s not bad at all!

I’ve been more active on this site, posting quite a bit more, I’ll continue to do this, maybe it will help us stay focused…

~ jan

Flourless Chocolate Cake


One 15-ounce can unseasoned black or kidney beans – drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon water or coffee (the coffee will bring out more intense chocolate flavor)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup Whey Low granular or maltitol

5 eggs


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9 or 10 inch cake pan with vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.

In a blender, food processor or with a hand held blender wand, puree the beans, water/coffee, and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.

In a small bowl combine the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat the butter and the Whey Low for one minute with an electric mixer. Beat in the eggs for two minutes, or until very light and fluffy. Beat in the bean mixture, just until combined. Beat in the cocoa mixture for one minute, until very smooth.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap or frost and cover. Makes 10 servings.

Per Serving: Calories 171; Protein 6 g; Fat 11 g; NET Carbs 10 g; Sugar 5 g; Sodium 155 mg

Source: Eating Well, Living Thin

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bite-size Honey Popcorn Balls

Bite-size Honey Popcorn BallsSweet, salty, and crunchy, these popcorn balls meet all of the typical junk food criteria, yet popcorn is lower in calories and higher in fiber than most snack foods, making these a healthy treat.

The only quibble we have with popcorn balls is that
they're usually too big and unwieldy to bite into. These miniature
clusters, held together with caramelized honey, are just the right size.
Prep and Cook Time: 1 1/4 hours. Notes: If you don't have an air
popper, you can pop the popcorn in the microwave: Working in 2 batches,
put kernels in a brown paper bag (any size). Do not add oil. Fold the
bag's opening several times to seal, then microwave at full power in
1-minute increments, checking popcorn and removing popped kernels as you
go (they burn easily). Be careful when opening bag; it will release

Yield: Makes 60 to 65 popcorn balls
  • 20 cups air-popped popcorn (from 2/3 to 1 cup kernels; see Notes)
  • 1 1/4 cups butter, cut into chunks, plus more for your hands
  • 1 1/4 cups honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 325°. Put popcorn in a large roasting pan. Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, use a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon to stir together 1 1/4 cups butter, the honey, and salt until butter is melted. Increase heat and boil honey mixture gently 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vanilla.

3. Carefully pour honey mixture over popcorn in roasting pan and stir gently to coat. Bake
popcorn, stirring every 5 minutes, until deep golden all over, about 25 minutes.

4. Let popcorn stand 5 minutes, or just until cool enough to handle. Working quickly with lightly buttered hands, press small handfuls of the mixture into 1 1/2-in. balls, occasionally loosening
popcorn from bottom of pan with a spatula. If mixture cools too much to be malleable, return it to oven for about 45 seconds to soften.

5.Put popcorn balls on prepared baking sheet and let cool completely.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Nutritional analysis is per popcorn ball.

Nutritional Information

64 (56% from fat)
(sat 2.4)

Source: Sunset, OCTOBER 2007

Italian Meat Loaf with Fresh Basil and Provolone

Italian Meat Loaf with Fresh Basil and ProvoloneIn addition to providing the lift in cakes, egg whites act as a binder for dishes such as crab cakes, salmon patties, and meat loaf. Serve this dish with your favorite mashed-potato recipe.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 slices)

* 1 cup boiling water
* 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil
* 1/2 cup ketchup
* 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
* 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
* 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
* 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
* 2 large egg whites
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 pound ground round
* Cooking spray
* 1/3 cup ketchup


Combine boiling water and tomatoes in a bowl; let stand 30 minutes or until soft. Drain tomatoes; finely chop.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine 1/2 cup ketchup, breadcrumbs, and the next 6 ingredients (breadcrumbs through beef) in a large bowl. Add tomatoes to meat mixture. Shape meat mixture into a 9 x 5-inch loaf on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Spread 1/3 cup ketchup over meat loaf. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Cut into 12 slices.
Nutritional Information

294 (27% from fat)
8.7g (sat 3.6g,mono 3.2g,poly 0.7g)

Source:  Cooking Light

Cottage Cheese Stuffed Potatoes potatoes stuffed with seasoned cottage cheese are a lavish low-fat, low-cholesterol, low-sodium treat.

4 medium baking potatoes
3/4 cup low fat 1% cottage cheese
1/4 cup 1% milk
2 tablespoons soft margarine
1 teaspoon dill weed
3/4 teaspoon herb seasoning
4-6 drops hot pepper sauce
2 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese
fat free shredded cheese

Prick potatoes with fork.  Bake at 425 for 60 minutes or until fork is easily inserted.

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise.   Scoop out potato with a spoon, leaving about 1/2 inch of pulp inside shell.  Mash pulp in large bowl.

Mix by hand remaining ingredients except parmesan and shredded cheese.  Spoon mixture into potato shells.

Sprinkle each top with 1/4 teaspoon parmesan cheese.  Top with fat free shredded cheese and place on baking sheet and return to oven.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown. 

If fat free cheese doesn't melt, spray it with Pam and return to oven, the Pam enables it to melt.

Yield 8 servings - Serving size 1/2 potato each

Note:  Nutritional information does not included shredded cheese.

Nutritional Info
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 109.7
Total Fat: 2g
Total Carbs: 15.4g
      Dietary Fiber: 6.6mg
Protein: 9.3g

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Baked Oatmeal – The Best

Servings 18 -

6 cups uncooked Old fashioned oats

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup canola oil

2 cups evaporated skim milk ( I use one 12 ounce can and make up the difference with skim milk)

4 large eggs

1 cups Splenda

1 large banana

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla

Mix oil, eggs, and Splenda until glossy. Add remaining ingredients. Let set for about 15 – 20 minutes. Bake in 13x9 pan sprayed with Pam at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Cut into bars, okay to freeze finished product.

Source:  WW Boards

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Crostinis are fun little bite sized appetizers which are little
slices of toasted baguettes topped with whatever your heart desires. I
like this healthy White Bean Topping drizzled with a little balsamic.
You can make these ahead of time, the bread will store for a few days in
an air-tight container. The white bean spread can be refrigerated a few
days. This recipe can easily be doubled.

White Bean Crostini
Gina's Weight
Watcher Recipes

17 Serving Size: 2 Calories: 33 Points: .5
ww pts

For the White Bean

  • 2 cups Cannelini or Northern Beans
  • 2
    tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1
    clove garlic
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 8-1/2" piece of
    baguette (4 oz), sliced into 1/4" pieces
  • garlic clove
  • olive
    oil spray
  • extra thyme for garnish
  • balsamic vinegar

Cut the bread into 1/4" thin slices.
You can toast these in the oven with a little olive oil spray at 400°
turning once until toasted or grill them. I used my George Forman grill
to toast them with a light spray of olive oil. Once the bread is
toasted, lightly rub it with a
garlic clove cut in half. Now your bread is ready to top.

Pureé in a small blender or magic
bullet all the ingredients for the white bean spread. If it's too dry
you can add a little more water.

Top each piece with 2 tsp of white
bean puree and garnish with
fresh thyme. Drizzle with a
touch of balsamic right before serving.

Source:  Gina's Recipes