Saturday, August 30, 2008

Spiced Garlic Mushrooms

Life has been crazy lately! I have been running all over the place trying to get my apartment in order. I moved in on Thursday and my room is complete, now we are in search of a nice couch to finish the living room.

Needless to say I haven't had much time to cook and am in a new kitchen so I wanted to start with something simple. These mushrooms are easy and delicious! They are the perfect side dish to anything (especially frozen dinners, which I have had to eat a lot of lately while unpacking). I have been loving Vegetarian Times lately because they have had nothing but great recipes.

I will try to update more often but I start my new job on Tuesday and am still getting used to my new kitchen so bare with me as I adjust to the New York lifestyle :)


Ingredients:

Serves 6

2 Tbs. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp. dried
1 cup dry white wine or water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 lbs. small button mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
  • In large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic, bay leaf, coriander and oregano and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic starts to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in wine or water and bring to a boil.
  • Add mushrooms, parsley, salt and pepper. Reduce heat, cover and cook 10 minutes, shaking pan occasionally.
  • Remove pan from heat and using a slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to a serving dish. Return skillet to heat and bring juices to a boil. Cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  • Discard bay leaf and pour liquid over mushrooms, cover and set aside to cool. If not serving right away, refrigerate and bring to room temperature before serving.
Nutritional Information
Per serving:
Calories 96, Protein 2g, Total fat 5g, Carbs 6g, Sodium 6mg, Fiber 1g

Friday, August 15, 2008

Veggie-Friendly Asian Lettuce Wraps

I am sorry I have been away for so long! Since my last post I have found a job and apartment in New York!! I will be working at a small PR firm in the city and living in lovely Brooklyn. I am moving on Thursday and right now my life is all in boxes, which can be frustrating when all you want is a sauté pan to try a new recipe :)

This recipe, along with the others on the page, are a great simple and tasty summer treat. Easy to make and eat these will go fast at any party!

I am sorry I haven't posted more but these next couple weeks will be a little busy so I will try to keep you posted on my life and great recipes! 


Ingredients:
2 Servings

6 medium iceberg lettuce leaves (or leaves from another round, firm head of lettuce)
6 oz. (about 1 3/4 cups) ground-beef-style soy crumbles (like the ones by Boca or Morningstar Farms), defrosted if previously frozen
1 cup canned sliced water chestnuts, drained & chopped
1 cup bean sprouts
3/4 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped scallions
2 tbsp. light/low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp. dark brown sugar (not packed)
2 tsp. chili garlic sauce (found in the Asian foods aisle)
1/2 tsp. sesame oil

Directions:
  • To prepare sauce, combine soy sauce, sugar, chili garlic sauce and oil in a small dish. Mix well and set aside.
  • Bring a medium pot sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Place all ingredients except for the scallions and lettuce leaves into the pot. Add the sauce, and stir. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes.
  • Add scallions, cook for 1 minute more, and remove from heat.
  • Divide mixture evenly among the 6 lettuce "cups" and enjoy 'em wrap-style (fold 'n chew!).
PER SERVING (3 wraps): 220 calories, 3.5g fat, 971mg sodium, 30g carbs, 8g fiber, 10g sugars, 21g protein

Monday, August 4, 2008

Artichoke Wraps with Three-Veggie Slaw

Life has been interesting as always. I am still looking for a job and it is not very successful. I need to begin looking for an apartment and a roommate depending on where I end up living. Luckily cooking is a great stress reliever which has helped a lot. I have found that is I never watch another day time TV show it will be too soon!

On to the food now! This recipe is the perfect appetizer or lite lunch! I tried it out this weekend and couldn't get enough. They are quick and easy to make as well as easy to pack and travel so they will be great on your next picnic. It didn't take very long to make and it is easy for everyone to add or take out anything to make their wrap personalized just the way they like it!


Ingredient list:
5 servings
1/2 medium green bell pepper, very thinly sliced
3 Tbs. plain low-fat yogurt
1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbs. minced red onion
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
5 (9- to 10-inch) flour tortillas
2 medium carrots, shredded (3/4 cup)
1 1/4 cups very thinly sliced green cabbage
Artichoke spread
14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup tahini
Small handful fresh parsley leaves
1 medium clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 to 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Directions:
  • Make artichoke spread: In food processor or blender, combine all ingredients and 2 tablespoons water. Process until mixture is almost smooth but retains some texture and is slightly thicker than hummus if necessary, add more water by teaspoon to thin. Adjust seasonings to taste. Set aside or refrigerate if not using right away.
  • In medium bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, yogurt, parsley, onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • In large skillet, warm each tortilla over medium heat just until soft and flexible, about 1 minute per side. Spread some artichoke mixture over each tortilla, leaving 1/2-inch border. Top with cabbage mixture, dividing equally. Fold bottom end of tortilla partially over filling, then roll into a bundle and serve.

Nutritional Information:
Per serving:
Calories 395, Protein 14g, Total fat 14g, Carbs 57g, Sodium 662mg, Fiber 10g

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sicilian Pasta Salad

This recipe is easy to make and even easier to enjoy. While I have had a lot of free time on my hands lately I don't want to spend it all cooking in the kitchen. This pasta salad is the perfect compliment to a picnic at the beach or an easy and relaxed barbecue with friends.

If you want to add a little more protein add some red kidney beans and not only does it add to the flavor but makes this side dish an entree.


Ingredient list:
6 Servings
12-oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts with liquid
1/4 cup oil-packed, sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
1 to 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar to taste
1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried
6 oz. part-skim mozzarella cheese,preferably fresh, diced
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 medium yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 tsp. salt
8 oz. pasta shells or rotini (pasta twists)
2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
Directions:
  • Bring large pot of water to a boil. When water boils add 1 teaspoon salt and pasta, stirring to prevent sticking. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, steam green beans and squash separately until each is just tender. Rinse under cold running water and drain well.
  • Drain pasta, rinse under cold running water and drain well. Transfer to large serving bowl. Add green beans, squash, artichokes with liquid, tomatoes, vinegar, oregano, cheese, salt and pepper. Toss to mix and coat. Serve at room temperature.

Nutritional Information
Per serving:
Calories 251, Protein 12g, Total fat 10g, Carbs 31g, Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 455mg, Fiber 5g

Monday, July 21, 2008

Artichoke-Parmesan Turnovers

I love artichokes and wanted to try something different for my little get together this weekend and I found this recipe and discovered a new hit among my friends. This was easy to make and even easier to eat! At first I wasn't sure about the dipping sauce they suggested but it made all of the flavors pop.

Try this at your next party!


Ingredients list:
Serves 10 (makes 30 turnovers)

Roasted Apple Aioli
1 Granny Smith apple
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Turnovers
1 17.3-oz pkg. frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 15-oz. can artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
3 oz. low-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 shallot, quartered
1 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Directions:
  • To make Roasted Apple Aioli: Preheat oven to 350F. Bake apple covered with foil in baking dish 30 minutes, or until soft. Remove core and scoop out flesh. Mash with mayonnaise and vinegar.
  • To make Turnovers: Preheat oven to 350F. Pulse artichokes, cream cheese, Parmesan, shallot and zest in food processor until blended but chunky.
  • Roll 1 sheet puff pastry into a 12x12-inch square. Cut into 15 3-inch rounds. Repeat with remaining pastry sheet.
  • Spoon 1 tsp. filling on each pastry round. Fold in half, then press edges with fork to seal. Transfer to greased baking sheet.
  • Brush turnovers with beaten egg, and bake 15 minutes, or until golden. Serve with Roasted Apple Aioli.
Nutritional Information:

Per turnover: Calories 136, Protein 2g, Total fat 10g, Carbs 7g, Cholesterol 13mg, Sodium 209mg, Fiber 1g, Sugars 1g

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rustic Peach-Blueberry Tart

Life has recently become much more complicated. I have started to look for jobs in Boston and New York because the job market right now is not looking good. Also, I have started to try and pack but wow that is overwhelming. I have lived in the same apartment for 3 years and in that time I have accumulated a lot of stuff! My lease is up in my apartment September 1st so I have to make some major decisions before then. I think if I don't have a job in either city I will move out to New York because I will have someone to live with and I have wanted to live there for a long time.

Anyways, one way I relieve all the stress in my life is through cooking! With the recent heat and humidity in Boston I tried out this recipe and it was the perfect light summer dessert. It is easy to make and delicious to eat! My friends all couldn't get enough, especially when I put vanilla-bean ice cream on top! You have to try it for your next party!


Ingredient list:
Serves 8

Cornmeal Crust
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
6 oz. Neufchâtel cheese, diced (I found it in Whole Foods)
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) butter, diced

Peach-Blueberry Filling
5 medium-size peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (about 5 cups)
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Ice cream or 2 cups sweetened whipped cream, optional

Directions:
  • To make Cornmeal Crust: Pulse flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in food processor 2 or 3 times to combine. Add cheese and butter, and blend until dough resembles coarse meal. Add 3 Tbs. cold water, and pulse several times, or until dough comes together. Pat into a flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour, or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 425F. To make Peach-Blueberry Filling: Toss peaches, blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and cinnamon in large bowl. Let stand 15 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved.
  • Place sheet of parchment paper on work surface, and sprinkle with flour. Roll dough into 12-inch round. Fold in edge 1/2 inch to create sides. Slide parchment and dough onto ungreased baking sheet or pizza pan.
  • Spoon fruit in center of crust with slotted spoon. Discard juices. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F, and bake 20 minutes more, or until crust is crisp and brown. Let cool 10 minutes. Slide tart from parchment onto serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature, and top with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.
Nutritional Information:
Per Serving: Calories 319, Protein 5g, Total fat 11g, Carbs 52g, Cholesterol 31mg, Sodium 123mg, Fiber 3g, Sugars 29g

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tofu with Tomato-Mushroom Sauce

This recipe was another great find from Yahoo. I tried it and I found it is best if you serve it over rice or tossed with some pasta. It didn't fill me up as much as I had liked but after I added another form of carbohydrate it became more filling. Also, if you are a huge fan of cheese, like me, feel free to add more cheese! I found adding some parmesan cheese compliments this dish well.

Make sure you use fresh mushrooms as well! It can make or break the dish! I just went to dinner the other night and had an amazing mushroom tortellini that I am going to see if I can recreate. I am a huge mushroom fan so if you know of any great recipes that use them let me know!


Ingredients:
Serves 4

14 ounces extra-firm tofu, preferably water-packed
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons prepared pesto
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese


Directions:
  • Drain and rinse tofu; pat dry. Slice the block crosswise into eight 1/2-inch-thick slabs. Coarsely crumble each slice into smaller, uneven pieces.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add tofu and cook in a single layer, without stirring, until the pieces begin to turn golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Then gently stir and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until all sides are golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes more.
  • Add tomatoes and mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are just cooked, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in pesto and feta.

Nutritional Information:

Per Serving: Calories: 185 cal, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Dietary Fiber: 1 g, Fat: 13 g, Protein: 13 g, Sugars: 2 g

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tofu with Peanut-Ginger Sauce

Another day another recipe. This one I found on accident when I was checking my email on Yahoo. I tried it out and it tasted just like a recipe I had at a restaurant in New York. It is full of flavor and light on calories which is always a positive! I thought at first it would be really high in calories because of the peanut butter but it is still very healthy! Try it out and let me know what you think!



Ingredients:
Serves 4

5 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons smooth natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (see Ingredient note) or white vinegar
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
14 ounces extra-firm tofu, preferably water-packed
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups baby spinach
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
4 scallions, sliced

Directions:
  • To prepare sauce: Whisk water, peanut butter, rice vinegar (or white vinegar), soy sauce, honey, ginger and garlic in a small bowl.
  • To prepare tofu: Drain and rinse tofu; pat dry. Slice the block crosswise into eight 1/2-inch-thick slabs. Coarsely crumble each slice into smaller, uneven pieces.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add tofu and cook in a single layer, without stirring, until the pieces begin to turn golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes.
  • Then gently stir and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until all sides are golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes more.
  • Add spinach, mushrooms, scallions and the peanut sauce and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are just cooked, 1 to 2 minutes more.

Nutritional Information:

Per Serving: Calories: 242, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Dietary Fiber: 3 g, Fat: 16 g, Protein: 16 g, Sugars: 5 g

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Spaghetti with Spinach and Mushrooms

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday this past weekend. I got to see my niece for the first time again since Christmas and that was amazing. She is 2 and it is scary how fast they grow! I can't believe how smart she was as well! I could go on and on about her but I will get back to the food.

I tried this recipe and fell in love! I am a huge pasta fan and am always looking for new ways to make it different and change it up a bit and this did it for me. This does have a lot of sodium so if you are worried about that you might want to watch your portions a little more. This tastes the best if you use really fresh spinach, it just makes all of the other flavors pop!

Ingredient list:
Serves 6

8 oz. spaghetti, broken into thirds
1 15-oz. can low-sodium vegetable broth
2 Tbs. tomato paste
1 Tbs. harissa, or 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. saffron threads
1 lb. mushrooms, quartered1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 tsp.)
1 lb. spinach, coarsely chopped
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Place pasta on baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Bake 5 to 7 minutes, or until golden, shaking pan once or twice to brown evenly.
  • Bring vegetable broth, 21/2 cups water, tomato paste, harissa and saffron to a simmer in saucepan. Reduce heat to low, and keep warm.
  • Heat large stockpot over medium-high heat, and coat with cooking spray. Add mushrooms, and cook 7 minutes, or until browned. Stir in garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Reduce heat to medium, and stir in pasta and 2 cups hot broth.
  • Cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Add spinach, chickpeas and remaining broth. Simmer 5 to 7 minutes more, or until noodles are tender and most of broth is absorbed, stirring constantly.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
Nutritional Information
Per Serving: Calories 274, Protein 12g, Total fat 3g, Carbs 51g, Sodium 490mg, Fiber 8g, Sugars 4g


And because I think Kayla, my niece, is so cute I figured I would add in a picture of her for good measure!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Southwestern Tofu Scramble

I am sorry I haven't been updating as much as I should be. Looking for a job and getting ready to move is more stressful than I thought it would be. Although I have had some time to cook. I tried out this recipe and loved it. After a long night the next morning I was really hungry and I made my self this huge breakfast and it was extremely filling! Also, if you have some leftover it tastes great in a wrap or sandwich! What is your favorite breakfast item?


Ingredient list:
Serves 6
1 medium red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
1 small carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)
4 green onions, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 tsp.)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1 14-oz. pkg. medium tofu, drained and crumbled
1/2 tsp. hot sauce
2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
salsa, for garnish
Directions
  • Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Add bell pepper and carrot, and cook 7 minutes, or until just tender.
  • Stir in green onions, garlic, cumin and turmeric, and cook 1 minute more.
  • Add tofu and hot sauce, and cook 5 minutes, or until heated through and all liquid has cooked off. Stir in cilantro, and serve with salsa.

Nutritional Information
Per Serving: Calories 113, Protein 11g, Total fat 6g, Carbs 6g, Sodium 32mg, Fiber 3g, Sugars 2g

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Martini Madness

I have to give it to Hungry Girl again, I found these three low calorie martini recipes and loved them all! I promised to give you more cocktails to vary up my blog. It is getting really hot outside and I figured to help everyone make this summer more tolerable I would try to cool off with some nice cold martini's. Let me know what you all think!
Orange Creamsicle Martini

This low-calorie cocktail tastes EXACTLY like those sherbet 'n ice cream bars you used to eat as a kid... Mmmmmmmm!

Ingredients:
4 oz. diet orange soda, room temperature
1.5 oz. orange-flavored vodka (like Smirnoff Twist of Orange)

1.5 oz. Torani Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup
1 tbsp. Cool Whip Free

Directions: Place all ingredients in a martini shaker, but DO NOT shake (or the carbonated soda will explode!). Mix thoroughly with a spoon until mixture is mostly lump-free. Add about 1 cup ice (crushed, if you've got it), and stir until mixture is cold. Then place the strainer on top and pour into a large martini glass. Enjoy!

Makes 1 Serving: PER SERVING (entire recipe, 1 martini): 109 calories, 0g fat, 69mg sodium, 2.5g carbs, 0g fiber, 0.5g sugars, 0g protein


Kickin' Key Lime Pie Martini

This one tastes even better than a slice of key lime pie! Don't believe us? TRY IT!!!

Ingredients:
1.5 oz. lime-flavored vodka (like Finlandia Lime or Smirnoff Twist of Lime)
1 oz. Torani Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup
2 tbsp. pineapple juice
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. Cool Whip Free

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a martini shaker with 1 cup ice (crushed ice works best). Cover the top of the shaker, and shake thoroughly. Strain into a martini glass and enjoy!

MAKES 1 SERVING(entire recipe, 1 martini): 129 calories, 0g fat, 21mg sodium, 7g carbs, 0g fiber, 4g sugars, 0g protein

Mounds Bar Martinis

Creamy... chocolatey... coconut-y and deeeeeeeelicious. This recipe will rock your world!

Ingredients:
3 oz. vodka (80 proof)
1 packet Diet Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix (the 25-calorie one)
2 oz. Torani Sugar Free Coconut Syrup
2 tbsp. Fat Free Reddi-wip

Directions:

Fill a martini shaker halfway with ice (preferably crushed). Combine cocoa mix with 2 oz. hot water, and mix well. Then add 2 oz. cold water, and pour the mixture into the martini shaker. Add the vodka, syrup and Reddi-wip, and cover the top of the shaker. Shake for about a minute, or until the liquid is cold. Then strain into 2 martini glasses. Enjoy!

Makes 2 Servings: (half of recipe, 1 martini): 112 calories, 0g fat, 80mg sodium, 2.5g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 1.5g sugars, 1g protein

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Louisiana Greens and “Sausage”

I have been extremely busy lately! Trying to find a job has turned out to be more difficult than I originally thought. I am sorry I haven't updated as much as I should but I have lost track of time. With all the stress of trying to find a job and getting ready to move to New York I have decided to take another trip home to San Diego for a little more relaxation and rest.

Anyways back to the food, this recipe is different and tasty! I was a little hesitant when I first saw this recipe but after trying it I was pleasantly surprised. It has a ton of flavor without all the calories. I hope that you will all enjoy this southern cooking as much as we did this weekend!


Ingredients:
Serves 6

2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium-sized onion, coarsely chopped
1 14-oz. bulk-style soy “sausage”
16 oz. mixed greens, such as mustard, collard, turnip and spinach
2 1/2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1/3 cup white wine or vegetable stock
2 cups vegetarian “chicken” stock, boiling
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1/2 Tbs. dried thyme

DIRECTIONS
  • Heat oil and crushed pepper over medium-high heat in a very large saucepan or stockpot for 1 minute. Add garlic and onions. Cook for 2 minutes, and add soy “sausage,” stirring and breaking apart with a large spoon.
  • Cook mixture for 7 minutes, stirring frequently until browned. Add greens, reduce heat to medium-low and cook mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until greens cook down.
  • Add vinegar, wine, stock and tomato sauce. Reduce heat to low.
  • Cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Add thyme, and cook 5 minutes longer, or until greens are tender, stirring occasionally.
Nutritional Information:
Per Serving: Calories 155, Protein 13g, Total fat 2g, Carbs 20g, Sodium 392mg, Fiber 5g, Sugars 5g

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Vegan Blueberry Muffins

I am finally back from my trip home to San Diego and Napa Valley where I had some AMAZING wines!! My favorite was from Domaine Chandon it was a Carneros Pinot Noir which was a lighter more every day Pinot and it was defiantly a great summer red!

Anyways when I came back all I wanted was something warm and carbohydrate based which is why I tried these Vegan Blueberry Muffins from Vegetarian Times and they were just what I wanted. Light, fluffy and warm just what I wanted after way too much wine! Now that I am back I will be sure to update more often! Let me know what you think of this great recipe!!

Ingredient list
Serves 12

1/4 cup soy margarine
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup soymilk
2 cups fresh blueberries


Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line 1/3-cup muffin cups with paper liners, or spray with cooking spray.
  • Mix all ingredients together in mixing bowl. Spoon into muffin cups, filling three-quarters full.
  • Bake 35 minutes, or until tops are firm. Cool slightly on rack.

Nutritional Information:
Per SERVING: Calories 200, Protein 3g, Total fat 4g, Carbs 38g, Sodium 270mg, Fiber 1g, Sugars 21g

Friday, June 6, 2008

Grilled Veggie Salad

I am home in San Diego this week and with the beautiful weather outside and lovely scenery I decided to post a recipe that is light and easy. This salad is quick to prepare and low in calories! I made it for my family last night and they were extremely impressed...which was exciting because if they knew how easy it was to prepare I don't think I would have gotten so much praise :) I will hopefully be inspired more by the amazing view from my house and post lots of recipes this week!

Next week I am going wine tasting in Napa Valley so I will let you know how that goes!! I am hoping to find some new yummy wines and if I find any good food and wine pairings I will let you all know!

Ingredient list
Serves 4

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
6 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbs.)
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed
2 medium-size portobello mushrooms, stems removed
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch rings (about 2 cups)
6 cups baby spinach leaves, rinsed and dried

Directions:
  • Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, parsley, basil and garlic in small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss sauce with asparagus, mushrooms and onion in shallow baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  • Coat grill or grill pan with oil or nonstick cooking spray. Preheat to medium-high heat.
  • Place spinach in large serving bowl; set aside.
  • Drain asparagus mixture, reserving marinade. Grill vegetables 6 to 8 minutes, turning occasionally, or until tender and lightly charred. Transfer to cutting board. Cool 2 minutes, and cut into bite-size pieces.
  • Add grilled vegetables to spinach. Transfer reserved marinade to small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Pour over salad mixture. Toss salad with hot marinade, using tongs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Nutritional Information:
Per Serving- Calories 285, Fat 15g, Carbs, 21g, Fiber 6g, Sugar 8g, Sodium 203mg, Protein 5g

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mud Pie Blizzard

Today was so hot and muggy and I wanted something cold to help me get through the day. This recipe from my favorite site Hungry Girl was the perfect afternoon pick me up. I think this summer is going to be a hot one so I am going to begin looking for more cold low calorie treats to help me survive another summer!


Ingredients:
1 Serving
3/4 cup Breyers Double Churn Free fat-free ice cream, French Chocolate
1 No Sugar Added Fudgsicle pop (the 40-calorie single version)
1/2 pack 100 Calorie Packs Oreo Thin Crisps, slightly crushed
2 tsp. Hershey's Lite chocolate syrup
1/2 - 3/4 tsp. instant c offee (depending on how much you like coffee flavoring)
1/2 tsp. Coffee-mate Original Fat Free powdered creamer, dissolved in
2 tbsp. warm water 1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda)
3/4 cup crushed ice (about 4 - 6 cubes)
Directions:
  • Combine the chocolate syrup, instant coffee, and sweetener with the Coffee-mate mixture. Add 2 tbsp. of cold water, and then pour into the blender.
  • Cut the fudge pop into pieces (removing the stick), and add the pieces to the blender as well. Then add the ice cream and crushed ice.
  • Blend briefly at low-to-medium speed until just mixed. Spoon mixture into a glass, and then stir in the cookie pieces.
  • If needed, place in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 253 Fat: 2g Sodium: 222mg Carbs: 59g Fiber: 8.5g Sugars: 29g Protein: 7g

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fantastic Faux-Fried Zucchini

This fantastic recipe from Hungry Girl is the perfect solution for any greasy food craving you might get. I have always loved zucchini but I wanted a new way to enjoy it and after trying this recipe I became hooked. They are the perfect size and consistency! I made them a little earlier today and my roommate and I enjoyed them with some yummy cosmopolitans to get ready to see the new Sex and the City movie tonight!

Below is a classy recipe for a cosmopolitan that will be sure to wow your friends before you go and enjoy the movie!

Ingredients:
Serves 3

2 large zucchini; ends removed
3/4 cup Fiber One bran cereal (original); ground to a breadcrumb-like consistency in a blender or food processor
1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
1 tbsp. powdered ranch dressing/dip mix
1/4 tsp. plus 1 dash garlic powder
1/4 tsp. plus 1 dash onion powder
1/4 tsp. plus 1 dash oregano
2 dashes pepper
2 dashes salt

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut zucchini into half-inch-wide circles. Blot away any excess moisture with a paper towel. Place egg substitute in a medium-sized dish, and season with a dash each of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  • In a separate medium-sized container, combine cereal breadcrumbs with 1/4 tsp. each of garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano -- add the ranch mix and a dash each of salt and pepper, and then mix well. Set out a baking pan, and spray with nonstick spray.
  • Toss zucchini circles in the egg substitute until they are all evenly covered. One by one, coat zucchini with breadcrumbs (giving them a shake first to remove excess egg substitute), and lay them flat on the baking pan.
  • Place in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes. Flip zucchini circles over, and return to the oven for about 10 more minutes, or until outsides are crispy and zucchini is cooked through.

Nutritional Information:

Serving Size: 1/3rd of recipe (1 generous serving) Calories: 78, Fat: <1g,>

Ingredients:

1 oz vodka

1/2 oz triple sec

1/2 oz Rose's® lime juice

1/2 oz cranberry juice

Directions:

  • Shake vodka, triple sec, lime and cranberry juice vigorously in a shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass, garnish with a lime wedge on the rim, and serve.

In case you want to know...the average Cosmo has around 168 calories, but one won't kill you so go ahead and enjoy!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Vanilla Fruit Salad

With the holiday weekend coming I decided to do something easy yet delicious. This recipe is a new twist on the old idea of a fruit salad. The unique apple-vanilla syrup adds an amazing flavor that is unexpected. I know that with the weather heating up you don't want to use the oven or spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing something for your guests and this is the perfect solution! 

As for me this weekend it will be low-key with hopefully some new recipes for my friends. I just got off a 5 hour bus ride to New York and tomorrow I am going to what I have heard is an amazing vegetarian restaurant called Counter. I have looked at their menu online and it looks amazing! I will let you all know how it goes. What are you doing for the long weekend? 


Ingredients:
serves 6

For the Vanilla-Apple Syrup:
2 cups apple juice
2 2-inch strips lemon zest
1/4 vanilla bean

For the Fruit Salad:
2 medium mangoes, peeled and diced
1 pint strawberries, quartered (about 2 cups)
1 pint blueberries (about 2 cups)

Directions:
  • To make Vanilla-Apple Syrup: Place apple juice and lemon zest in pot. Slice vanilla bean in half and scrape seeds into juice. Add bean to pot as well. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes, or until mixture is syrup-like and reduced to 1/3 cup. 
  • Remove lemon zest and vanilla bean, and cool to room temperature.
  • To make Fruit Salad: Toss mangoes, strawberries and blueberries with Vanilla-Apple Syrup, and serve.

Nutritional Information
Per Serving: Calories 129, Protein 1g, Total fat 5g, Carbs 32g, Sodium 4mg, Fiber 3g, Sugars 18g

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sesame Noodle Salad with Asparagus and Tofu

I had a very busy weekend and did lots of eating! It is weird to think that all of my years of schooling are over, but I guess it happens at one point for everyone. We went to two amazing restaurants. On Saturday we went to a place in the theater district called Teatro that had amazing homemade pasta dishes! It also had an amazing wine selection, which makes every meal more enjoyable. Sunday we went to a lovely little place in the South End called Hamersley's Bistro and I had the most wonderful mushrooms served on a garlic bread that was like nothing I have ever had before. For dessert I had a lavender vanilla cake, it was out of this world!

Overall I had an amazing weekend and actually picked up a new hobby thanks to my roommate. For my birthday she got me a jigsaw puzzle and ever since I opened it I haven't been able to step away! I will post a picture of my masterpiece when I am finished!

Now back to the food, I found another yummy recipe from Vegetarian Times that I made yesterday for my mom who LOVED it. It is quick, easy and delicious! I never truly enjoyed sesame when I was younger but now I find that it is the perfect compliment to any Asian inspired dish! This recipe is sure to satisfy you on any busy work night!

Ingredients:
6 servings

1 1/2 Tbs. sesame oil or other mild-flavored oil
2 cups well-drained diced firm tofu (13 oz.)
2 tsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos (or another seasoning that you like)
1 lb. asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch lengths
6 oz. dried vermicelli
1 English cucumber, peeled and julienned
1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
  • Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil for vermicelli. Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat sesame oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with liquid aminos and cook, stirring often, until tofu is golden-brown, about 7 minutes.
  • Add asparagus, sprinkle lightly with salt, cover and cook until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately remove from heat; set aside.
  • Add vermicelli to boiling water; stir to prevent sticking. Cook until just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold running water and drain well.
  • Transfer noodles to large bowl; add half the dressing and season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Toss well. Spoon asparagus-tofu mixture on top, sprinkle with cucumber and drizzle with some remaining dressing. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
Nutritional Information:
Per serving:
Calories 181 Protein 6g Total fat 11g Carbs 16g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 17mg Fiber 3g

Friday, May 16, 2008

Graduation Weekend

I haven't had much time lately to update because of this upcoming weekend.. it's not only my graduation but also my birthday so I have been busy with planning for family and celebrations.

It is weird to be saying goodbye to school but I know there are bigger and better things coming for me in New York!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and I will update with some new and exciting recipes next week!! Stay tuned for great food and maybe some awesome beverage recipes!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Banana Bread

This recipe from my favorite website Hungry Girl has to be the best low calorie banana bread I have ever tried. Moist, flavorful, and guilt-free, what more could a girl ask for? With all the free time on my hands lately I have been trying a lot of different recipes so get ready for more recipes to come! This banana bread brought up memories of growing up with my mom making fresh bread in her amazing bread maker and the smell filling the house. I love all kinds of bread but this one tops the list! Try it out today and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:
Serves 8

1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
1/2 cup no-sugar-added applesauce
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
Optional Toppings: no-calorie spray butter, Cool Whip Free

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine both types of flour, Splenda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon (in other words, all dry ingredients).
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, egg substitute, applesauce, and vanilla extract (all the wet ingredients).
  • Add this mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients, and stir until just blended. Spoon batter into a large loaf pan (about 9" X 5") sprayed with nonstick spray.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly, and then cut into 8 slices. If you like, spritz with some spray butter or spread on some Cool Whip Free.

Nutritional Information:

Serving Size: 1 slice

Calories: 140 Fat: 0.5g Sodium: 267mg Carbs: 31g Fiber: 3.75g Sugars: 7g Protein: 5g

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thick and Juicy Burger

I love a good burger every now and then but I hate the calories involved as well as the fact that they usually include bee. Well this craving was able to be completely satisfied with this recipe from Hungry Girl which as you know is my favorite website! This huge burger will be able to satisfy even the biggest eater in you life! So tonight go ahead and splurge a little!! Let me know what you all think!!!



Ingredients:
Serves 1


1 Wonder Light Hamburger Bun
2 Boca Meatless Burgers, Original
2 slices meat-free Bacon
2 slices fat-free American cheese; each cut into 3 strips
1 tbsp. fat-free mayo


Directions:
  • If desired, toast bun and set aside. In a pan sprayed with nonstick spray, cook bacon to desired crispiness over medium heat, flipping occasionally.
  • Prepare burger patties according to package directions (either in a pan with nonstick spray, or in the microwave). While still hot, top each patty with 2 strips of the cheese. Break bacon slices in half.
  • Criss-cross 2 bacon halves over the bun bottom, and top with the remaining 2 strips of cheese. Stack both cheese-topped burger patties on top, and then criss-cross the other two bacon halves over that.
  • Lastly, smear the mayo on the inside of the top of the bun, and finish off your sandwich with it. Enjoy!
Nutritional Information:
Serving Size: 1 sandwich Calories: 335 Fat: 3.5g Sodium: 1,817mg Carbs: 38g Fiber: 12g Sugars: 6g Protein: 46g

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Peppermint Cookies n’ Cream Brownies

Everyone loves a good brownie when they are stressed and this is the ultimate one! I am sorry but I don't have the nutritional information for this recipe but you need to live every now and then and forget about counting calories right? I made these and took them to a party and people couldn't get enough of them! It is best to make these before going to a social gathering because they do make a lot and you don't want these tempting you!
Oreo's, peppermint and chocolate....could I ask for a better treat after finishing a semester?

Ingredients:
Makes 36 brownies
1 cup butter
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups roughly chopped peppermint oreo-type cookies (approx 18)
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, and grease lightly.In a medium-large saucepan over low heat, melt together butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally. Whisk in sugar, salt and vanilla, then turn off heat.
  • Whisk in eggs one at a time, waiting until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stir in flour and cocoa powder until mixture is uniform. Stir in peppermint oreo cookies and pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Crush 3-4 additional cookies finely and sprinkle on top of batter, if desired.Bake for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, but not coated with batter.
  • Cool brownies in pan for about 20 minutes, then lift brownies in the foil out of the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Once again I am sorry I don't have the nutritional information but after finals and papers I just wanted something sinful and chocolaty and this hit the spot!

ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Veggie Curry

With finals time comes lots of stress and with all that stress I don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. This fast easy curry is the perfect pick me up meal when I only have a few minutes to spare. You throw this over some rice or couscous and you have a tasty quick meal that will keep you going through no matter what life throws at you. I will be posting more often after all these tests and papers are over but until then if you have any good ideas for finals food let me know!
Ingredients:
Serves 5

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cube vegetable bouillon
1 (10 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables
1 1/2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
  • In a large saucepan over medium-high, heat oil and saute onion, and garlic until golden. Stir in curry powder and tomato paste, cook 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir in tomatoes, vegetable bouillon cube, mixed vegetables, water, salt and pepper to taste. Cook approximately 30 minutes until vegetables are well done (not crunchy). Sprinkle with fresh cilantro prior to serving.
Nutritional Information:

Calories: 102 Total Fat: 3.5g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 312mg Total Carbs: 15.8g Dietary Fiber: 4.8g Protein: 3.7g

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Barbecued Tofu Sandwich

School has been busy and I apologize for not updating as often as I should be. As for what I have been eating ately I decided to try out this this sandwich which I found to be fast easy and delicious! Barbecue sauce is my guilty pleasure! I can literally put it on anything! If something tastes even slightly bland I don't reach for salt like most people I ask for the barbecue sauce, so as you can tell this sandwich is only as good as the sauce you choose! I am a big fan of KC Masterpiece classic BBQ sauce. It only has 10 calories so you don't have to feel bad when you pour it all over everything!! Enjoy your sandwiches and let me know what you think!!
Ingredients:
Serves 4

1 (14 OZ) Package Firm Tofu, drained and cut into 8 ½” slices
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup Flour
1 Teaspoon Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Barbecue Sauce
4 (2 Oz) Hamburger Buns

Directions:

  • Place tofu on several pieces of paper towels. Cover with more towels and let stand for 1 hour. Sprinkle with salt. Place flour into a bowl. Coat tofu slices with the flour.
  • Heat oil in a pan, Add the tofu. Brush each slice with barbecue sauce. Cook 2 minutes. Turn over and coat with more barbecue sauce.
  • Cook 3 minutes or until done. Place 2 slices on a bun and serve.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving; Calories 332; Fat 10 g; Protein 155 g; Carbs 46.3 g;Fiber 3.4 g; Iron 8.2 mg; Sodium 907 mg;

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pissaladière Pizza Recipe

You may not know what Pissaladière is and to be honest I didn't before reading Vegetarian Times either. Pissaladière is a type of pizza made in southern France, around the Nice, Marseilles, Toulon and the Var Districts. I am always up for something new so when I came across this recipe I thought it would be something fun and different to try. It was different from anything I have made before but I love a good challenge every now and then. Making dough from scratch was not as easy as I thought it would be but a lot more fun than expected! If you have some free time this weekend and feel like going outside of your comfort zone go ahead and try this out and you will not be disappointed!

Ingredients:

Serves 6
3 Tbs. olive oil
4 lb. sweet onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 recipe Quick Whole Grain Dough (see below)
1/2 cup roasted red pepper strips
20 black olives such as kalamata, pitted and halved

Directions:
  • Heat oil over medium-low heat in large skillet. Add onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 35 to 45 minutes, or until onions are very soft. Meanwhile, prepare dough.
  • Uncover pan, increase heat to medium and cook, stirring, 10 minutes, until liquid has evaporated and onions are brown. Discard thyme and bay leaves.
  • Place an inverted baking sheet on oven rack set in lowest position. Preheat oven to 450F.
  • Divide dough into 2 balls. Place 1 ball in center of 15-inch piece of parchment paper. Flatten into a 10-inch circle.
  • Spread half of onions over dough, leaving 3?4-inch border. Arrange half of red pepper strips in crisscross pattern. Dot with half of olives. Repeat with remaining dough and toppings. Slide parchment papers with tarts onto baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes, until crust is golden.

Nutritional Information
Per Serving: Calories 370, Protein 8g, Total fat 13g, Carbs 57g, Sodium 620mg, Fiber 5g, Sugars 16g

Quick Whole Grain Dough
Makes 2 10-inch tarts Vegan

This dough takes under 2 minutes to mix and knead. If the dough is ready before you are, you can punch it down and let it rise again, or even make it ahead and refrigerate it, covered, overnight. Bring it to room temperature before shaping.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. instant yeast
3/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. olive oil, preferably extra virgin
3/4 cup warm water (105—110F)

Directions:

  • Combine both flours, yeast and salt in food processor; pulse to combine. With motor running, add olive oil and warm water through feed tube, and process about 15 seconds, or until dough forms a ball.
  • Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface, and knead just until smooth and manageable, about 1 minute. Place dough in greased bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with damp kitchen towel, and let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (Dough is ready when fingerprint on surface fills in slowly.)

What's your favorite kind of pizza?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pesto Portobellos Recipe

I love portobello mushrooms and wanted to try something fun this weekend. When I saw pesto and mushrooms in this recipe from Vegetarian Times I was sold!! I thought this was going to be difficult to prepare but I found it easier than expected which is always a plus. Everyone that tried this had nothing but good things to say about it! This can be made for dinner or appetizers so no matter where you are headed you are sure to be the hit of the night with this recipe.
Ingredients:
Serves 8 for dinner or 32 appetizers
8 large portobello caps, about 6 inches round
2 Tbs. olive oil
Salt to taste
2/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
2/3 cup prepared basil pesto
1 Tbs. grated lemon zest from 2 large lemons
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts, optional
1/3 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Chopped parsley or mint for garnish

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 450F. Line two shallow roasting pans or baking sheets with aluminum foil.
  • Gently wipe mushroom caps with damp towel. Use paring knife to pry out any bits of stems; chop stems finely.
  • Lightly brush tops of caps with oil. Set caps, gill sides up, in prepared pans. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  • Combine chopped stems, breadcrumbs, pesto, lemon zest, vinegar and hazelnuts, if using. Spoon about 2 rounded tablespoons of topping into each mushroom.
  • Roast mushrooms on top rack 5 minutes. Switch to bottom rack. Continue roasting until tender, 10 to 15 minutes total. Sprinkle grated cheese liberally on each mushroom, and garnish with parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutritional Information:
Per SERVING: Calories 230, Protein 6g, Total fat 17g, Carbs 11g, Cholesterol 10mg, Sodium 500mg, Fiber 2g, Sugars 2g
What is your favorite appetizer to serve to your friends and family? When I am feeling lazy I love just putting out pretzels and cheese! Really, I think I can eat pretzels with anything, they are my miracle food :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Warm Soba in Broth with Spinach and Tofu

Spring is not fully here on the East Coast yet, so on a recent chilly day I tried this recipe from Food and Wine Magazine and it hit the spot! I had some tofu in the fridge because it was on sale at Shaw's and I am a sucker for anything on sale! As I was trying to find a new recipe for tofu I came across this one and it made me feel ready to take on all of that school work that I have ahead of me. It has taken me awhile to truly enjoy anything with a seaweed or sushi taste, because when I was younger my brother took me out to eat and we went to a sushi place. He neglected to tell me that sushi was raw fish and because I have always hated fish you can imagine how I reacted when he told me to eat a huge piece with eel in it. Ever since then I have been scarred when it comes to anything seaweed tasting but luckily I have overcome this fear!

If you are ready for a filling soup that is sure to put a smile on your face try this and try to tell me you don't love it :)

Ingredients:
Serves 4

4 large shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
Vegetable oil cooking spray
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin (see Note)
10 ounces soba noodles (see Note)
5 cups boiling water
2 teaspoons instant dashi or 1 tablespoon miso paste
4 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup finely shredded daikon
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 sheet nori seaweed, cut into 1/8-inch strips



Directions:
  • Preheat the broiler. Spray the mushroom caps with vegetable oil cooking spray, season with salt and pepper and broil 6 inches from the heat, turning the caps once, until lightly browned and tender, about 6 minutes. Let cool, then thinly slice the mushrooms.
    In a small bowl, stir the sugar into the soy sauce and mirin until dissolved.
  • In a large saucepan of boiling water, cook the soba noodles, stirring once or twice, until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain the noodles, rinse under cold water and drain again thoroughly.
  • Add the boiling water and instant dashi to the saucepan. Add the tofu and shiitake and simmer just until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach.
  • Transfer the soba to 4 deep bowls and spoon the dashi mixture on top. Garnish the soba with the daikon, scallion and nori and serve right away, passing the soy sauce mixture alongside.

Nutritional Information:

1 Serving

328 calories, 3 gm total fat, 0.1 gm saturated fat, 64 gm carb.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Apple Cobbler

Another amazing low-calorie recipe from Hungry-Girl! I am all about desserts and sweets so any time I can find something as amazing as this that only has 126 calories for 1 cup I will try it no matter what! Luckily this turned out to taste as good as it looks! Apples and cinnamon, I don't think there is a better combination especially for dessert. I love chocolate, don't get me wrong but every now and then I want something that is a little lighter and I don't have to feel as guilty about after I finish. Try this recipe the next time you are craving something sweet and it will definitely not disappoint!

Ingredients:
Serves 4
3 cups peeled apple chunks (any sweet, not tart, variety)
1/2 cup Fiber One bran cereal (original)
2 sheets (8 crackers) low-fat honey graham crackers
2 tbsp. fat-free liquid egg substitute
2 tbsp. no-sugar-added applesauce
3 tbsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated), divided
2 tbsp. brown sugar (not packed)
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. cinnamon, divided
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine 2/3 cup of cold water with brown sugar, cornstarch, 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon, vanilla extract, salt, and 1 tbsp. of the Splenda. Stir well.
  • In a medium-sized pot, combine apple chunks with this mixture. Heat the apple mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once liquid thickens to a syrupy consistency and begins to bubble, reduce heat to low and cover. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, and then transfer mixture to a medium-sized round baking dish. Set aside.
  • Next, break graham crackers into small pieces. Place graham pieces and Fiber One in a blender or food processor, and grind to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Transfer crumbs to a microwave-safe dish, and add egg substitute, applesauce, 1 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon, and the remaining 2 tbsp. of Splenda. Stir well.
  • Microwave graham mixture for 1 minute. Use a fork to break up the toughened mixture as much as possible, and then allow it to cool for a few minutes. Transfer graham mixture to a food processor or blender, and pulse until crumbly and uniform.
  • Evenly distribute graham topping over apple mixture. Place the dish in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes. Allow cobbler to cool slightly before serving.

Nutritional Information:
Serving Size: 1/4th of cobbler (about 1 cup) Calories: 126 Fat: 1g Sodium: 236mg Carbs: 33g Fiber: 5.5g Sugars: 16g Protein: 2g

What is your favorite dessert food combination?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lose Your Soda Habit!

As I was reading Yahoo I found this interesting article about 4 easy ways to cut soda (yes even diet soda) out of your life all together! We all know that soda isn't good for us so why do we keep drinking it? Water can get dull after a period of time to some people so Yahoo along with Hungry-Girl came up with these 4 alternatives!

Stevia-Sweetened Soda!

In case you don't know, stevia is an up-and-coming, all-natural, calorie-free sweetener (currently sold in packets for drink-sweetening). Well, not too long ago, Coca-Cola filed dozens of patent applications for their very own form of stevia to use in some of their sodas. But you don't have to wait 'til that stuff arrives, 'cuz Zevia's already on the market! In Cola, Orange, and Twist (lemon-lime flavored), this 5-calorie-or-less-a-serving stuff is the ultimate solution for the soda-obsessed who want to nix artificial sweeteners without turning to regular high-calorie sugary soda. FYI, the Orange is the best and the Twist is good, too. But we're counting on Coke to come out with the perfect cola...

Metromint Water!

Tired of those silly calorie-packed waters (Vitamin Water, SoBe Life Water, Snapple Anitoxidant Water!)? Seeking flavored water with no artificial stuff? Check out Metromint's line of 0-calorie H20s. This stuff is made of just purified water, mint, and natural essences. Besides the standard Peppermint and Spearmint, there's also Lemonmint, Orangemint, Cherrymint, and (our latest fave) Chocolatemint! They're all subtly flavored and super-refreshing. We can't wait to see what the folks at Metromint come up with next ... Watermelonmint, Vanillamint, Rootbeermint?!


Zenergize Vitamin Infused Drink Tabs!

One of these all-natural, 2-calorie tablets will turn your glass of water into a fizzy flavorfest! They come in a gazillion flavors, from Orange + Pomegranate to Tropical Punch. And it's pretty fun to watch the little disc dissolve in your glass (really -- try it!). The bubbly consistency makes these a fantastic soda swap. They're also PACKED with vitamins and other energizing stuff!

POM Light Tea!
Typically, all-natural iced tea is either crammed with calories from sugar or it's unsweetened and super-bland. Well, neither is the case with this awesome line from Pom Wonderful. With pomegranate extract and just enough sugar, you get a fruity-licious tea drink for only 35 calories per 8-oz. serving. It comes in Light Wildberry White Tea, Light Orange Blossom Red Tea, and Light Hibiscus Green Tea. Sayonara, soda. Wonderful, POM!

Herbed Tofu Lasagna with Zucchini

I LOVE Vegetarian Times!! This recipe made me weak in the knees! I know that a lot of vegetarian lasagna recipes can be really boring or have the same old ingredients but when I saw this one, there was something right away that intrigued me. Normally when I see lasagna that doesn't include meat they substitute all of the meat with a lot of cheese, and that means a lot of calories!! This has a great fresh taste and that special something that you can't put your finger on. I served this to a few hungry college students and they couldn't get enough! A side note, this recipe does make a LOT of food so it is best for parties or if you want to have a lot of leftovers so be prepared! While yes this is a little high in calories, you still need to let yourself have some guilt-free days! And trust me....this lasagna is worth the few extra calories!

Ingredients:
Serves 10

2 14-oz. pkg. firm tofu, well drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 Tbs. olive oil
4 medium-size zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 3 cups)
5 cups marinara sauce
16 no-cook lasagna noodles (9 oz.)
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Coat 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Combine tofu, basil, parsley, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt, red pepper flakes and sugar in food processor; blend until smooth and similar to ricotta in texture.
  • Put oil and zucchini in large nonstick skillet. Sauté 3 to 5 minutes over medium-high heat, or until just tender.
  • Spread 3 Tbs. marinara sauce over bottom of prepared baking dish. Cover with layer of noodles, overlapping slightly, half of tofu mixture and half of zucchini mixture. Top with another layer of noodles, remaining tofu and zucchini, and 1/2 cup sauce. Finish with another layer of noodles and remaining sauce.
  • Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information
Per Serving:
Calories 314, Protein 18g, Total fat 12g, Carbs 36g, Sodium 617mg, Fiber 6g, Sugars 10g

What is your favorite Italian recipe that you can't seem to get enough of? I love anything with noodles :)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Soothing Burrito Recipe

I ironically found this recipe in the San Francisco Chronicle and decided to try it out. To my surprise it came out pretty good! While it still doesn't come close to the amazing Mexican food I ate living in San Diego it was an interesting twist on an old favorite. It is an Asian spin on a Mexican dish. I know that sounds like a weird description but I guarantee if you are feeling adventurous and getting tired of the same old foods you should try this out and let me know what you think!
Supposedly it is meant to soothe your soul....but with all of the stress of school and graduating I think it would take a lot more than one burrito to do that, but I guess I did feel a little calmer after eating it. Although that could have just been the feeling of fullness from all the food!
Ingredients:
Serves 1
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 cup spinach
1 egg
1 teaspoon mirin
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 green onion, chopped
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1 large burrito-size (about 9 1/4 inches wide) flour tortilla
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapenos (optional)
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
1/4 cup canned black beans (optional)
1/4 cup steamed rice (optional)
1/3 cup mung bean sprouts
Sriracha sauce or regular salsa
5 cilantro sprigs, chopped
1/2 fresh lime
Directions:
  • Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and saute until just wilted. Set aside.
  • Beat the egg in a small bowl. Add the mirin, sugar, soy sauce, green onion and garlic. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the same skillet and scramble the egg mixture in it.
  • Microwave the tortilla between two slightly damp paper towels for 30 seconds. Place the steamed tortilla on a 10-inch-long piece of aluminum foil. Put the cheese in a pile in the middle of the tortilla. Add the scrambled egg and sauteed spinach. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the egg and spinach.
  • Add the black beans and rice, if desired, and mung bean sprouts. Add sriracha sauce to taste. Sprinkle on the cilantro and squeeze lime juice over all.
  • Using the foil as a base, fold the bottom third of the tortilla up over the filling, pushing the down on the pile and you roll forward. Take the left side of the tortilla that has no filling and fold it over the filling. Do the same with the right side, shifting the filling as it forms a tube shape.
  • To hold the burrito together, wrap the foil around the burrito the same way. Twist close the top if you are saving it for later. This will keep in the fridge for one day. Reheat in a 350° oven for 20 minutes. When ready to eat, simply peel the foil back as you eat.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving: 450 calories, 15 g protein, 51 g carbohydrate, 20 g fat (3 g saturated), 213 mg cholesterol, 768 mg sodium, 5 g fiber.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Angel Food Cupcakes with Raspberry Swirl

I love angel food cake and when I came across this recipe from Food and Wine Magazine I knew I stumbled across something amazing! Raspberries have always been my favorite type of berry or food for that matter. When I was younger everything I got would be raspberry flavored which looking back was good because fresh raspberries are high in antioxidants and rich in vitamin C, folate, iron and potassium. Now that I have a more refined pallet (or just looking for more creative ways to enjoy my favorite pastime) I decided to try these cupcakes out and they truly are as amazing as they look! This recipe is not on the low-calorie side as the rest of them are but you have to splurge every now and then right?


Ingredients:
Serves 18
Filling
3 cups raspberries (3/4 pound)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 4 teaspoons of water
Cupcakes
1 cup cake flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
10 large egg whites (1 1/4 cups), at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 plump vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Glaze
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons water
Pinch of salt
Directions:
  • MAKE THE FILLING: In a medium saucepan, combine 2 1/2 cups of the raspberries with the granulated sugar and cook over moderately high heat, crushing the berries, until very soft and broken down, about 5 minutes. Strain the raspberry puree into a small bowl and discard the seeds. Return the puree to the saucepan. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of raspberries and the dissolved cornstarch and bring to a boil. Cook, gently crushing the berries, until the filling is glossy and thickened, about 3 minutes. Let cool, then refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  • MEANWHILE, MAKE THE CUPCAKES: Preheat the oven to 325°. Set 18 foil muffin cups on a rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the cake flour with the confectioners' sugar. In a large bowl, combine the egg whites with the salt, vanilla seeds and cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
  • Gradually beat in the granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the whites are firm and glossy. Sift the flour mixture over the egg whites in 2 additions, folding gently until incorporated.
  • Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, shifting the pan from front to back, until the cupcakes are springy and golden. Transfer the cupcakes to a rack to cool.
  • Using a wooden skewer, poke a 1/4-inch-wide hole in the top of each of the cupcakes.
  • Using a pastry bag fitted with a plain 1/4-inch tip (or for those of you who don't have one cut a corner off a plastic zip-lock bag and it will work just as fine), pipe about 1 tablespoon of the filling into each cupcake.
  • MAKE THE GLAZE: In a small bowl, stir together all of the ingredients. Spoon a small bit of the glaze over the raspberry hole and let set, about 5 minutes. Drizzle and spread the remaining glaze over the cupcakes and let set, about 10 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a platter and serve.
Nutritional Information:
One Serving 153 cal, 1 gm fat, 0.6 gm saturated fat, 34 gm carb, 2 gm fiber.
If that is to calorie heavy for you try this cherry pie it is more diet friendly!

Sexuality promoting vegetarianism

Why is it OK to treat women as pieces of meat while they promote a vegetarian lifestyle (or at anytime for that matter)?


This article from the New York Times discusses how a vegan strip club in Oregon — Casa Diablo — is using sex to try to convert meat eaters to vegetarians as well as a Los Angeles dance group — the Vegan Vixens — that performs at events and trade shows.

The most disturbing line is:
"Vegans who use sexuality to promote the cause say it is a good way to convert carnivores."

I personally do not think this is right in any way. While yes I do enjoy creative ways to help people learn about a vegetarianism lifestyle this is going too far!
What do you think?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Guilt-Free Enchiladas!

OK here comes my love of Mexican food again! After I saw this recipe for guilt-free enchiladas I couldn't resist! My love of Hungry-Girl is coming out again but well she just has so many amazing ideas that I can't help myself!

I remember when I was young going out to eat at different Mexican restaurants almost once a week, and of course when I was young I didn't think twice about how many calories were in the food I was consuming. When I went home last time I sat down at a restaurant and looked around at all of the grease filled options and got worried. I felt that everything on the menu came with a side of grease and fat. After that experience I decided it was time to find low calorie versions of the food I grew up with and still love today. Don't get me wrong I will still indulge in a greasy plate of tacos every now and then but for those days I don't want all the calories I make these better for you alternatives!


Ingredients:

Serves 2
2 large corn tortillas (like Mission Super Size)
1 slice fat-free cheddar cheese, cut in half
2/3 cup enchilada sauce
1/3 cup fat-free refried beans
1/4 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 tbsp. taco sauce
1/2 tsp. taco seasoning mix, dry
Optional toppings: fat-free sour cream, chopped scallions

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a pan sprayed with nonstick spray, cook onions over medium heat until they begin to brown (about 2 minutes).
  • In a small dish, combine the onions with the re-fried beans, taco sauce, and taco seasoning. Mix well. Spray a small baking dish with nonstick spray. Heat tortillas in the microwave until slightly warm(or for an even better taste heat them up on the stove-top to give them a little extra crunch). Lay the tortillas on a clean, dry surface, and then spread about 2 tbsp. of the enchilada sauce onto each one.
  • Place one half of the cheese slice on each tortilla. Then, evenly distribute the bean mixture into the center of each tortilla. Wrap the tortillas up tightly, and place them in the baking dish seam side down. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the enchiladas.
  • Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes (until the enchiladas are hot). Remove dish from the oven, sprinkle shredded cheese over the enchiladas, and then return it to the oven for about 5 minutes (until the cheese is nice and melty).
  • Plate those babies and, if you like, top with some of the optional ingredients. Enjoy!
Serving Size:
1 enchilada (half of recipe)
Calories: 187 Fat: 2g Sodium: 976mg Carbs: 29g Fiber: 4g Sugars: 5g Protein: 12g
I was reminded yesterday that not everyone is a vegetarian so I decided I would begin offering ways to add some meat in to the recipes I provide for those of you who can't give up your love of animal products. For this recipe go ahead and add some shredded chicken or even a little carne asada (that was my favorite back in my meat eating days) to spice things up a bit, but remember that the meat will add extra calories so figure those in if you are watching your calorie intake!
Now go fire up your ovens and let me know what you think!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Grilled Asparagus Bruschetta Recipe

I think it is time that I give you a lovely appetizer for your next dinner party. I just had a little get together this past week to celebrate the end of a long month (which I know isn't over yet but well for me it kind of is) and I served this interesting take on the normal bruschetta. When my friends first saw this they asked where the tomatoes that they were used to were. They are constantly making comments on how I make foods to elegant. Just because we are in college doesn't mean we should be eating macaroni and cheese and drinking beer everyday! I have always enjoyed good food and while there is nothing wrong with beer I have always been a wine girl myself. Anyways back to the recipe, try this the next time you are having a more upscale get together and prepare for your friends and family to be amazed! It takes about 30 minutes to prepare at the most and everyone will love you for it!


Ingredients:
Serves 4
2 Tbs. olive oil plus extra for drizzling
1 lb. asparagus, tough ends trimmed and spears peeled and blanched
4 slices Italian country bread, cut 1/2-inch thick
1 large clove garlic, peeled and sliced
4 tsp. tapenade, or more to taste
4 oz. mild chèvre such as Montrachet cheese
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a ridged grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and cook, turning frequently, until tender and golden brown. Remove from pan, and set aside.
  • Rub both sides of bread with cut side of garlic. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to a ridged grill pan or skillet, and heat over medium heat. Place bread in pan, and cook for about 4 minutes per side, or until golden and crisp. Remove from pan, and let stand until cool enough to handle.
  • Spread 1 teaspoon tapenade on one side of each bread slice. Top tapenade with 1 ounce chèvre, either spreading cheese or crumbling it. Top chèvre with asparagus, cut to fit bread. Scatter olives over top, drizzle with olive oil and season with black pepper. Cut in half, and serve warm.

Nutritional Information:

Calories 270 Protein 9g Total fat 18g Carbs 19g Cholesterol 15mg Sodium 430mg Fiber 3g Sugars 4g

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kids' Menus Becoming more Upscale

I was really getting frustrated with the video I posted a few days ago automatically playing every time I opened my page so I decided to delete it. I wanted to try something new and it didn't work as I had planned so I will keep moving and not let it slow me down. You live and you learn right?

On to other news, I found this interesting article in the San Francisco Chronicle about how kids menu's are starting to take on more upscale foods. Items such as mini steaks and roast pork loin paired with farmers' market vegetables are becoming increasingly common at some of San Francisco's most popular chef-owned restaurants, as more parents demand a place at the table for their offspring.

I thought this was odd. It turns out that older parents are coming in with younger kids requesting higher quality food than what they usually serve for children. Now remember that this is mainly showing up at high scale restaurants but still it leads me to the question of should kids be eating at these high end restaurants frequently enough that they start catering to them?

I remember when I was young going out to nice restaurants with my parents once in awhile and while they usually had to make me plain noodles with butter I was happy and found it a treat non-the-less. I feel that most kids are not mature enough to appreciate the foods they are given so why would you want to spend a lot of money on something your child might not even like?

Also, this brings me to the question of if kids are mature enough to sit in an upscale restaurant and not kick and scream and ruin other diners experience. I agree that parents should be allowed to go out to a nice dinner every now and then but isn't that what a babysitter is for? Shouldn't the parents be able to enjoy their food and experience without having their kids there?

Maybe this is because I am young and can't imagine having a child but I feel that if I were to go to a nice restaurant I wouldn't want my kids to be there.....

What do you think?