Saturday, April 18, 2009

Quesadilla Madness!

If you know anything about me you know I am in LOVE with Mexican food! I can't get enough! That is why when I came across this amazing recipe I had to try it, and thank god I did. They were very tasty and filling. After eating a whole one I was super full and didn't have to feel guilty for having a lot of food.

A perfect afternoon meal for a lovely Saturday if you ask me!

Serves 1

1 large La Tortilla Factory Smart & Delicious Low Carb/High Fiber tortilla
1/3 cup frozen ground-beef-style soy crumbles (like the ones by Boca and Morningstar Farms)
1/4 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
One-half wedge The Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss cheese
1 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
1/2 tbsp. chopped scallions
1/4 tsp. dry taco seasoning mix
Optional: additional fat-free sour cream, for dipping

  • In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine soy crumbles, cheddar cheese, scallions, sour cream, and seasoning mix, stirring thoroughly. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir again, and set aside.
  • Lay tortilla flat and spread cheese wedge evenly over one half.
    Bring a medium-large pan sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat, and lay tortilla in it with the cheesy side up. Cook for about 30 seconds. Top the cheesy tortilla half with soy crumble mixture.
  • Using a spatula, carefully fold the plain tortilla half over the other half, pressing down with the spatula to seal. Cook for about 1 minute, until slightly toasted on the bottom.
    Flip and continue to cook for about 1 minute, until both sides are toasted. Remove from heat and cut into four triangles. Serve with sour cream for dipping, if you like. Enjoy!

Serving Size: entire quesadilla
Calories: 196, Fat: 5g, Sodium: 931mg, Carbs: 25g, Fiber: 13.5g, Sugars: 2.5g, Protein: 25.5g

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fun Falafel Night!

Last night I was in the mood for a little middle eastern food so I automatically thought FALAFEL! I was very pleased to find out that these falafel's are amazing and really low-cal. There is nothing better than a homemade falafel and this truly hit the spot. The dip that goes along with it is wonderful as well!

Make this tonight with some white wine and you are in for a GREAT Friday night!

Serves 5

For Falafel Pockets
2 1/2 whole-wheat or high-fiber pitas
One 15-oz. can chickpeas, well drained
1 onion, very finely chopped
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tbsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. paprika, or more to taste
black pepper, to taste
Two 2-second sprays olive oil nonstick spray

For Dip
6 oz. plain fat-free yogurt
1 Persian cucumber, peeled and chopped (or another small cucumber, peeled, deseeded, and chopped)
1 tsp. dried dill
3/4 tsp. crushed garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
black pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Place all ingredients for falafel (except for the pitas and nonstick spray) in a large bowl, and give them a good stir. Using a potato masher, mash well. Mixture should remain slightly chunky, not smooth.
  • Spray a baking sheet thoroughly with a 2-second spray of olive oil nonstick spray.
  • One at a time, take spoonfuls of mixture in your hands and form 15 balls, each about the size of a ping pong ball, and gently place them on the baking sheet. Spray the top of each ball with olive oil nonstick spray, for a total of about a 2-second spray.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for dip in a blender or food processor, and pulse until just blended. Season to taste with black pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Remove baking sheet from the oven, and carefully turn each ball over, gently reshaping if the bottoms have flattened. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 - 15 minutes, until golden brown and slightly crispy. Allow to cool and set for at least 5 minutes.
  • Cut the whole pitas into halves, toast or warm all pita halves slightly, and then fill each with three falafel balls and 3 tbsp. dip. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information:

PER SERVING (1 pita pocket with 3 falafel balls and 3 tbsp. dip): 198 calories, 2.25g fat, 863mg sodium, 37g carbs, 8.5g fiber, 5g sugars, 10g protein

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Soba Noodle Fun

I was feeling lazy last night so I decided to try something simple and tasty. This dish was just that and... with a little Morning Star "chicken" strips I added a little more protein and made this side dish into a main attraction. I absolutely love soba noodles for everything Asian inspired...especially soups (if you are looking for an amazing soba noodle soup in NYC try out Deli Marche, they have an awesome soba noodle bowl that is full of steamed veggies and tofu)

If you are feeling lazy tonight and have two hours to chill the noodles try this won't be disappointed.
Serves 4
1 package (8 oz) uncooked udon or soba (buckwheat) noodles
2 cups frozen organic cut green beans (from 16-oz bag), thawed
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons hot chili paste with garlic
1/3 cup water

  • Cook noodles as directed on package, adding green beans for the last 4 minutes of cook time. Rinse with cold water; drain.
  • In microwavable bowl, mix remaining ingredients; microwave uncovered on High 15 to 20 seconds or until softened. Beat sauce with wire whisk until smooth.
  • In large bowl, toss green beans and cooked noodles with sauce. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Nutritional Information:

Per Serving: Calories 260 (Calories from Fat 25); Total Fat 3g (Saturated Fat 1/2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 480mg; Total Carbohydrate 48g (Dietary Fiber 6g, Sugars 6g); Protein 10g

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spinach Manicotti

This dinner was truly what the doctor ordered – it was only 8 ingredients and 15 minutes of prep time. Last night it was rainy and cold outside so I decided to make a pasta dish (because when it is cold outside there is nothing better than a nice and filling cheesy warm dish) and manicotti is my favorite pasta dish! This had just the right amount of spinach and cheese...pure heaven!

I served it with a really simple cucumber salad and it was the perfect compliment. The next time you have a cold and gross day try this out and it will cheer you right up!
7 Servings (2 Manicotti Each)
1 box (8 oz) uncooked manicotti shells (14 shells)
2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend (8 oz)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
1 box (10 oz) frozen organic cut spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 jar (25.5 oz) pasta sauce (any flavor)

  • Heat oven to 375°F. Cook manicotti as directed on box. Rinse with cool water; drain well.
  • In medium bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups of the Italian cheese blend, the red pepper, ricotta cheese, spinach, garlic and egg.
  • In bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of the pasta sauce. Spoon ricotta mixture into manicotti; place over sauce in dish. Pour remaining sauce over manicotti.
  • Cover tightly with foil; bake about 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbling. Uncover dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Italian cheese blend. Bake uncovered 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Nutritional Information:

Per Serving (2 Manicottis)
Calories 380, Total Fat 15g (Saturated Fat 8g, Trans Fat 0g), Cholesterol 80mg, Sodium 770mg, Total Carbohydrate 41g, Fiber 4g, Sugars 6g, Protein 22g

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Eggplant with Mozzarella

I am sorry for being absent for so long my friends. This weekend was a little crazy but don't worry because this appetizer will make up for my not posting in a few days! If you love eggplants as much as I do, you will have to try this out.

I have always loved eggplant and mozzarella together (eggplant parm's are my FAVORITE) so I knew this was going to be great from the start. It was salty and savory thanks to the capers which is just what I was looking for. Everyone who enjoyed these last night couldn't get enough! Let me know what you think!

Serves 6
Basil Oil
1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil

3 baby eggplants (1 lb.), sliced into 30 ½-inch-thick rounds
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 leek, halved, white and light green parts cut into half-moons
4 Tbs. white wine vinegar, divided
1 6-oz. ball fresh mozzarella, sliced into 6 rounds
2 Tbs. capers


  • To make Basil Oil: Blanch basil 5 seconds in 4 cups boiling, salted water. Drain, and plunge into ice water. Pat basil dry, then purée in blender with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Strain oil with mesh strainer, and discard basil.
  • Generously salt eggplant slices, and set in colander placed over bowl. Let stand 45 minutes to release liquid.
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add leek, season with salt, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to bowl.
  • Coat nonstick skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium heat. Add half of eggplant slices, and season with salt. Cook 5 minutes, or until browned and caramelized, using spatula to move slices often to prevent sticking. Flip eggplant with spatula, add 2 Tbs. vinegar, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover.
  • Cook 5 to 7 minutes more, or until vinegar has evaporated and second side of eggplant is caramelized. Remove eggplant slices to covered bowl to keep warm. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices.
  • To serve: Place mozzarella slices on serving plates. Top each cheese slice with 5 slices eggplant, 1 Tbs. leek, 1 Tbs. Basil Oil, and sprinkling of capers. Season with salt and pepper.
Nutritional Information
Per Serving:
Calories 236, Protein 6g, Total fat 20g, Saturated fat 5.5g, Carbs 9g, Cholesterol 22mg, Sodium 402mg, Fiber 2g, Sugars 3g

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chili Con Tempeh

I was in the mood for something spicy last night when I found this recipe It was fantastic! Spicy but not too much...perfect!

Sorry I can't write more but my next post will be amazing....I am working on something great so stay tuned!!

Serves 8
2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1 cup)
5 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp.), divided
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1 cup)
1 small jalapeño pepper, minced
1 14.5-oz. can whole tomatoes with juice
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder, divided
2 8-oz. pkgs. tempeh
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 12-oz. bottle dark amber beer
2 tsp. maple syrup
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped

  • Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and 1 Tbs. garlic, and sauté 5 minutes, or until onions are soft. Add celery, bell pepper, and jalapeño, and sauté 5 minutes more, or until bell pepper is crisp-tender.
  • Meanwhile, purée tomatoes and juice in blender or food processor until smooth. Add puréed tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, oregano, 1 tsp. chili powder, and 2 cups water to onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Pulse tempeh, red pepper flakes, remaining 2 tsp. garlic, and remaining ½ tsp. chili powder in food processor or blender until crumbly. Season with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil in skillet over medium heat.
  • Add tempeh mixture, and sauté 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir beer, maple syrup, and tempeh mixture into tomato mixture. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes more, or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Fold in cilantro.
Nutritional Information
Per Serving:
Calories 209, Protein 13g, Total fat 10g, Saturated fat 2g, Carbs 21g, Sodium 574mg, Fiber 3g, Sugars 7g

Friday, April 10, 2009

Acai Sorbet

For all of my vegan peeps out there I have a great spring time dessert that you must try! This sorbet is very easy to make. The hardest part is finding the ingredients although I found everything I needed at my trusty Whole Foods. There is a limited amount of work that is needed so I am going to keep my post short and sweet :)

Although if you would like some more information on Acai berries and how they are taking over the news lately feel free to learn more about this crazy new trend!

Serves 8
4 pure acai pulp smoothie packs (4 oz. each), thawed
3/4 cup agave nectar
2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • Whisk together all ingredients in bowl. Transfer to 9-inch-square metal baking pan, and place in freezer. Stir with fork every half hour, scraping frozen bits from sides, to keep from freezing into a block. Scoop into bowls, and serve, or store in airtight container up to 1 week.
Nutritional Information
Per Serving:
Calories 132, Protein 1g, Total fat 2.5g, Saturated fat 0.5g, Carbs 27g, Sodium 5mg, Fiber 2g, Sugars 24g

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spinach-Tomato Pie

I was feeling really motivated last night and decided to try out something that at first sounded a little too difficult. I found the recipe for this pizza online yesterday and thought it looked amazing. I am obsessed with pizza of all forms but deep dish is my all time favorite. I am a huge crust girl so I guess it makes sense.

Well last night after I pulled it out of the oven I could hardly WAIT to try it! It smelled soooo good! Boy did it live up to my expectations! It tasted just like a deep dish pizza you would get from Chicago...only healthier. The fresh tomatoes and the spinach went very well together along with the awesome crust...I felt like I was in heaven :)

You must try this if you are a pizza lover like myself and let me know what you think!

Serves 6
1 10-oz. can refrigerated pizza crust
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
2 Tbs. minced shallots
1 cup evaporated skim milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
2 ripe medium-sized tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/3 cup shredded low-fat Monterey Jack cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Coat 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
  • Shape dough into 4-inch circle; cover with kitchen towel; let stand 5 minutes. Roll into 11-inch circle on lightly floured surface. Fit into pie plate, and flute rim.
  • Mix spinach, sour cream and shallots in mixing bowl. In separate bowl, whisk together milk, salt, pepper, egg whites and egg. Stir 1/3 cup milk mixture into spinach mixture.
  • Spoon spinach mixture into bottom of prepared crust. Add layer of tomatoes, and top with cheese. Pour remaining milk mixture over cheese. Place pie plate on baking sheet.
  • Bake 45 minutes, or until set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Nutritional Information:
Per Serving: Calories 230, Protein 14g, Total fat 5g, Saturated fat 2g, Carbs 33g, Cholesterol 45mg, Sodium 590mg, Fiber 3g, Sugars 9g

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Better Than Beef Bugers

Last night I was feeling adventurous so I tried something brand new and it turned out GREAT... these burgers are to die for! I made them with my Butternut Squash Fries and oh my it was quite a meal! There are a lot of ingredients and it looks overwhelming at first but once you get going it all falls into place and is really easy. It took a little longer than I wanted and made WAY more than I needed for 3 people but overall it was great and now I have some leftovers for my co-workers.

On a side roommate tried to make crab rangoons last night and it was a scary encounter. When she was going to deep fry them she had a little water on her hands that dripped into the pan and holy was scary! The flame went almost all the way up to our ceiling. Luckily our smoke detector didn't go off because it was laying on our coffee table from an earlier smoke incident, but it was a great lesson in chemistry that we needed to be reminded of. My loyal readers remember, HOT oil and water don't mix well!

Now on to the food...

Serves 8

4 Tbs. light miso paste
2 8-oz. pkgs. tempeh, grated
3 Tbs. canola oil, divided
1/2 cup gluten flour or vital wheat gluten
2 Tbs. guar gum
1 portobello mushroom, stemmed and grated (about 3/4 cup)
1 small beet, grated (about 3/4 cup)
1 small onion, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1 small carrot, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Dilute miso in 1/4 cup water in bowl. Stir in tempeh and 11/2 Tbs. oil. Stir in flour and guar gum.
  • Mound tempeh mixture on prepared baking sheet. Cover with foil, and bake 20 minutes, or until heated through.
  • Heat remaining 1 1/2 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium heat. Add mushroom, beet, onion, carrot, corn, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  • Pulse vegetables and tempeh mixture in food processor 6 or 7 times or until just blended (do not overblend).
  • Shape tempeh mixture into 8 patties. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 4 hours, or overnight, to blend flavors.
  • Preheat grill to medium. Brush burgers and grill rack with oil. Grill 8 to 10 minutes per side.

Nutritional Info:

Per Serving:
Calories 218, Protein 20g, Total fat 9g, Saturated fat 1.5g, Carbs 14g, Sodium 259mg, Fiber 6g, Sugars 3g

Monday, April 6, 2009

Rollin' with my taco's

Feel like going south of the border tonight? Then try out these amazing taquito's, they have all of the flavor but half the fat from my favorite website Hungry Girl. The original recipe calls for real chicken but that was an easy substitute with Morningstar Farms chik' n strips. I actually love these little strips because they have so much flavor and lots of protein without packing in the calories!

I tried these yummy mini-taco's last night and was pleasantly surprised at how they came out! While they don't compare to the Mexican food I am used to from SD but this also isn't as greasy! What is your favorite type of Mexican food?

Serves 4

8 small (6-inch) yellow corn tortillas
One package of Morning Star Chik' N Strips
1/2 cup salsa
1/3 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. dry taco seasoning mix
Optional: red enchilada sauce, additional salsa, fat-free sour cream, for dipping

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.In a medium bowl, combine the defrosted "chicken" and salsa, and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Remove chicken mixture from the fridge, and drain any excess liquid. Add cheese and taco seasoning, and mix to combine. This is your filling. Set aside.
  • Prepare a baking sheet by spraying with nonstick spray, and set it aside. Dampen two paper towels, and place tortillas between them. Microwave for about 1 minute, until tortillas are warm and pliable.
  • Take one tortilla (keep the rest between the paper towels), spray both sides lightly with nonstick spray, and lay it flat on a clean dry surface. Spoon about 2 heaping tbsp. of filling onto the tortilla. Spread it evenly across the entire surface, and roll tortilla up tightly, so that you have a cigar-shaped tube. Secure with toothpicks and place seam-side down on the baking sheet.
  • Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
  • Bake for 14 - 16 minutes, until crispy. Allow taquitos to cool for 5 minutes. If you like, dunk in enchilada sauce, salsa, or sour cream!

Nutritional Information:

Serving Size: 2 taquitos

Calories: 197, Fat: 2.5g, Sodium: 594mg, Carbs: 22.5g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 20.5g

Mango-Wrapped Bananas

It has been toooo long my friends! I can't believe I haven't posted since August. That is what happens when you move to a new city with a new job and have to get situated I guess. Anywhos I promise that won't happen again!

A little update on me: I am now working at a PR firm that specializes in books. I am living in Brooklyn and loving the city! Work is a little stressful and can be daunting but everyday is a new challenge and I welcome it with open arms. How have all of you been? Anything exciting to report?

Now about this recipe! It is from my favorite website Vegetarian Times and oh my goodness is it tasty! They call it a sushi dessert but I call it perfect! I love mangoes and raspberries and when they combine...perfect! Try it and let me know what you think!


Serves 4

1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 Tbs. fresh orange juice
2 Tbs. honey
1 large mango, peeled
3 bananas, peeled
1/2 cup fresh raspberries

  • Whisk together yogurt, orange juice, and honey in small bowl. Set aside.
  • Cut mango from top to base into 16 4½- x 1-inch strips using vegetable peeler. Cut bananas into 16 1-inch pieces. Wrap 1 mango strip around each banana piece. Arrange on plates cut-side up.
  • Mash raspberries in separate bowl until slightly liquid, but still chunky. Spoon mashed raspberries atop center of each mango-wrapped banana piece. Serve with yogurt sauce.

Nutritional Information:

Per Serving:
Calories 169, Protein 3g, Total fat 1g, Saturated fat 0.5g, Carbs 42g, Sodium 17mg, Fiber 4g, Sugars 30g