Thursday, 31 May 2012

"Spaghetti" with Tomato Sauce




Ok, so spaghetti squash is not exactly your traditional pasta dish... but it is a more "figure-friendly" alternative! If you make this dish expecting exactly the same flavor and texture as traditional pasta, you will probably be disappointed. However, that does not mean spaghetti squash isn't tasty (I actually prefer it).


Spaghetti squash is very versatile. You can pair it with many different flavors, such as herbs and butter, alfredo, pesto, meat sauce, or plain with salt and pepper. It works well in various dishes as well (e.g., soups, casseroles, or standing alone as a side or main).


If you have never tried it, you definitely should!

"Spaghetti" with Tomato Sauce

(2 servings)

Ingredients:
  • 1 small spaghetti squash (yields about 2 cups, 310g)
  • 2/3 cup pasta sauce*
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, for topping
Method:
  • If baking the squash, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Scrape out seeds and pulp with a spoon. Bake face-down in a baking dish filled with 1/2 inch of water for 30-40 min. If microwaving, scrape seeds and pulp as before, place face-down in a microwave safe dish filled with 1/2 inch of water, and microwave on high for 7-10 min (or until it is soft and easy to scrap out with a fork).
  • Serve with pasta sauce and parmesan cheese if desired.
*Use a pasta sauce with around 60 calories per 1/2 cup serving


NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
(For 1 cup squash, 1/3rd cup sauce, and 1 tablespoon cheese)
  • 100 Calories
  • 17g Carbohydrates
    • 8g Sugar
    • 4g Fiber
  • 3g Fat
  • 5g Protein

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Low Fat Banana Bread





Moist, dense, and perfectly banana-y (yes I know that isn't a word). You will never guess that this banana bread has no butter or oil in it.


A slice of the banana bread with sharp cheddar cheese on top (I know this sounds like an odd combination, but it is tasty) made a delicious after-run snack today.  My sister enjoyed her slice with some peanut butter. YUM!


For a little excitement, try adding walnuts or chocolate chips... or both :)

Low-Fat Banana Bread

(12 slices)

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (you may use whole wheat flour instead)
  • 3/4 cup sweetener (I used about 14g stevia)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce*
  • 3 medium bananas, mashed and very ripe (about 1.5 cups mashed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips, optional
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, optional
Method:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a loaf pan (bread pan) with nonstick cooking spray, set aside. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sweetener, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together egg substitute, almond milk, applesauce, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until well combined, do not over mix. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts if you are using them.
  • Pour batter into sprayed pan and bake for 45-55 min, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
* If you do not like the taste of fat-free baking, try substituting 1/2 of the applesauce with calorie-reduced "buttery spread". 





NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

For 1/12th of the loaf WITHOUT chocolate chips:
  • 98 Calories
  • 22g Carbohydrates
    • 5g Sugar
    • 2g Fiber
  • 0g Fat
  • 3g Protein
For 1/12th of the loaf WITH 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips:
  • 129 Calories
  • 26g Carbohydrates
    • 8g Sugar
    • 2g Fiber
  • 2g Fat
  • 3g Protein



My birthday is coming up soon (June 5th), and I am trying to think of what kind of cake I should make. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Raw Vegan Chocolate Pudding





People don't normally associate avocados with pudding, but you will after trying this recipe.


I secretly made this pudding while Mark, my boyfriend, was busy. I wanted to see if he could guess what ingredients were in this recipe. He got chocolate and banana, but he came nowhere close to guessing avocado. When I told him, he took another bite and still could not taste the avocado.


This pudding is so healthy, you could even eat it for breakfast! It is decadently rich and creamy with a lovely chocolatey banana flavor. If you do not like the flavor of banana very much, make sure your banana is not very ripe (or just omit completely). For an added crunch, try adding raw cocoa nibs in place of the cocoa powder.



Raw Vegan Chocolate Pudding

(2 servings)

Ingredients:
  • 1 very ripe small avocado (about 90g)
  • 1/2 a medium banana (if you do not like banana flavor, use an unripe banana)
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons sweetener, or to taste (I used 4.5g stevia)
  • 2.5 tablespoons raw cocoa powder (may substitute regular cocoa powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
Method:
  • Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend very well until completely smooth. Refrigerate before eating (this makes the avocado flavor less evident). 

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
(For 1/2  of the recipe)
  • 125 Calories
  • 14g Carbohydrates
    • 4g Sugar
    • 6g Fiber
  • 7g Fat 
  • 3g Protein 

Monday, 28 May 2012

Skinny Pretzel-Crust Strawberry Cheesecake


Cheesecake...


Need I say more?


The only dessert I love more than chocolate would have to be cheesecake. Growing up, I asked for cheesecake at every birthday party. Fresh strawberries pair perfectly with this creamy dessert. The crunchy pretzel crust creates a perfect combination of sweet and salty. Also, this is a very pretty cake, so it is ideal for parties and gatherings.


Topping the cake with sugar-free jello makes it possible to add less cheese, which means less calories, which means you can have more... 1/8th of the cake for less than 100 calories to be exact :)

Skinny Pretzel-Crust Strawberry Cheesecake

(8 BIG servings)

Ingredients:

Crust:
  • 1 cup pretzels (crushed very fine; about 60 sticks)
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (I used 3g stevia)
  • 3 tablespoons reduced calorie buttery spread (like Becel), melted
  • 1 tablespoon water
Filling:
  • 8 ounces fat free cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sweetener of choice (I used 24g Stevia)
  • 1 cup fat free whipped topping, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 a package (2 servings) sugar-free strawberry flavored jello
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced thin

Method:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Add all the crust ingredients together and mix well until combined (I used a food processor). Press into the bottom of an 8-inch pie dish. Bake for 8 min; cool completely.
  • Whisk together boiling water and gelatin, set aside to cool. 
  • Beat together cream cheese, sweetener, whipped topping,  and vanilla until very smooth. Pour into cooled crust and place in the refrigerator. 
  • Once the filling has firmed up a little (about 20 min), place cut strawberries in a circle pattern around the top. Pour jello over the top. Cool in the refrigerator until firm (about 1 1/2-2 hours at least).

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
(For 1/8th of the pie... a BIG piece)
  • 92 Calories
  • 17g Carbohydrates
    • 3g Sugar
    • 1g Fiber
  •  1g Fat
  • 5g Protein

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Dairy-Free Coconut Pie




There is great debate whether or not coconut oil is good for you. This is because about 90% of coconut oil's fat content is saturated. Don't panic though! The Lauric Acid (a Saturated Fatty Acid) present in coconut oil has many health benefits such as skin and hair care, weight loss (click here for more details), cholesterol level maintenance, and many more.


This pie is very easy to make, quick, and tastes great! It has a dense, decadent texture and a flavor to match.





Fat isn't always your enemy. Fats have been shown to increase metabolism and thyroid functioning, so indulge a little!

Dairy-Free Coconut Pie

(16 servings)
Slightly adapted from freecoconutrecipes.com

Ingredients:




Crust:


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sweetener of choice (I used 1g stevia)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (preferably vergin)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut milk*
Filling:
  • 1 cup sweetener of choice (I used 24g stevia)
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute (like egg beaters)
  • 1/4 cup flour (or coconut flour)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk*
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut flakes 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Method:




Crust Directions:


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Cut in coconut oil with a pastry blender (or two knives) until oatmeal-like consistency. Add coconut milk a little at a time until a dough forms; you may not need it all. If your dough seems sturdy, turn onto a floured surface and kneed several times. Roll out dough and place into a 9-inch pie plate sprayed with nonstick spray. If you prefer, you can just press your dough into the pie plate (this is what I did, because my dough didn't seem "rollable"). 
Filling Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Mix together eggs and sugar. Add oil and flour, mix well. Add coconut milk and vanilla. Fold in 1 cup coconut flakes.
  • Pour filling into crust, then sprinkle with remaining coconut flakes. Bake for 50-55 min.

* I made my own coconut milk for the freshest option. To do this, blend 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes with 1 cup very hot water for 2-3 min. Strain the liquid through cheese cloth; return strained liquid to blender, add 1/2 cup very hot water and blend 2 min. Strain again.


NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
(For 1/16th of the pie)
  • 212 Calories
  • 16g Carbohydrates
    • 5g Sugar
    • 1g Fiber
  • 15g Fat
  • 2g Protein

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes



Fluffy, tall, and filled with bursts of fresh blueberries!




These pancakes are irresistible topped with blueberries, syrup, and whipped cream... or just plain.






Overnight company are never disappointed when they wake up to these pancakes :)

Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes

(4 servings)

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (may substitute skim milk)
  • 3.5 tablespoons egg substitute (such as egg beaters)
  • 2 tablespoons calorie reduced buttery spread (such as Becel), melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (I used 2.5g stevia powder)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • nonstick spray
Method:
  • Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center, pour egg substitute, melted "butter", vanilla, and almond milk into it. Whisk together until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries.
  • Heat a medium skillet over medium heat, spray with nonstick spray. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into the skillet and cook until little bubbles form on the surface. Flip over the pancake to brown the other side. 
  • Serve with more blueberries, syrup, and whipped cream if desired.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
(for 1/4 of the recipe)
  • 135 Calories
  • 24g Carbohydrates
    • 2g Sugar
    • 2g Fiber
  • 2g Fat
  • 5g Protein

Friday, 25 May 2012

Oven-Baked Apple and Banana Chips






The homemade fruit leather I made yesterday turned out so great, so I decided to try dehydrating other fruits in the oven. I am playing around with a few different combinations (apple cinnamon and strawberry banana to name a couple).




I have always loved banana chips and ESPECIALLY apple chips. Now that I know I can use my oven like a dehydrator, I came to the realization that I can make apple and banana chips at home!






Most banana chips are fried in oil. Baking them in an oven makes it possible to avoid the fat and calories associated with frying. Also, it allows you to have complete control of the ingredients added... no preservatives or additives here!!




Oven-Baked Apple and Banana Chips

(8 servings)

Ingredients:
  • 2 medium apples
  • 2 medium bananas, ripe (but not spotted)
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • any additional toppings you may want (e.g., cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, etc.), optional
  • non-stick spray, optional
Method:
  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, spray with non-stick spray if desired. Fill a large bowl with cold water and the juice of 2 lemons. 
  • Wash apples, core them (I used a melon baller for this), and slice paper thin using a very sharp knife or a mandolin. Place them in the bowl of water/lemon to keep from turning brown. Peel bananas, cut thin (about an 1/8th of an inch), and place in water/lemon as well. 
  • Place apples and bananas in a single layer on baking sheets, sprinkle with toppings if desired (I added a tiny bit of cinnamon to the apples). Bake about 3 hours, or until crispy and lightly browned. 

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
(for 1/8th of the recipe, or 1/2 an apple and 1/2 a banana)
  • 44 Calories
  • 12g Carbohydrates
    • 7g Sugar
    • 2g Fiber
  • 0g Fat
  • 1g Protein

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Homemade Fruit Leather




I was at Costco the other day, and kiwis were on sale... if you have ever been to Costco, you know that there is no such thing as a small package of anything. Consequently, I ended up having a ton of kiwis and not a ton of ideas on what to do with them.

As a kid I loved Fruit Roll Up, so I decided to see if it was possible to make a homemade version without a dehydrator. There is! The beauty of this recipe is that you can use any fruit you want, it is preservative and chemical free, and it is not loaded with sugar!



This is a very simple and kid friendly recipe. It does take a bit of time to turn the fruit puree into fruit "leather" though (5-7 hours in the oven), so make sure you account for this before beginning the recipe... In other words, don't start this recipe on a whim at 7 o'clock at night or you'll be up at 1 in the morning to take it out of the oven. The outcome is definitely worth the wait though!

It is perfectly tangy and pure tasting... I could not have been more impressed with the outcome!


Put the beautiful, fresh, cut up kiwis with lemon juice in a saucepan...


Cook until soft and the majority of the liquid in them has been cooked off...


Pureed nice and smooth (I added natural, organic, green food coloring to get a vibrant green color).


Spread the puree thinly on a plastic wrapped baking sheet... in the oven it goes!



Enjoy :)



Homemade Kiwi Fruit Leather

(12 servings)

Ingredients:
  • 12 kiwis (or about 4 cups of whatever fruit you want)
  • juice of 1 lemon, divided
  • sweetener to taste (I chose to use about 16g stevia-- equivalent to about 2/3 cup regular sugar)
  • natural food dye, optional
Method:
  1. Place peeled, cut kiwis (or other fruit) and the juice of 1/2 a lemon into a medium saucepan over low heat. You will notice the fruit soften, change color, and a liquid will form at the bottom. If you are using regular sugar, add it now. If you are using a sweetener, wait until step 2 to add it. Continue to cook on low, stirring often, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Do not burn the fruit! 
  2. Preheat oven to lowest setting on your oven (Mine was 170 degrees F, but you could go as low as 120 degrees F. Don't go over 170 degrees F). Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Lay plastic wrap down over the sheet, then spray the top of the plastic wrap with nonstick spray also. 
  3. Remove saucepan from heat and transfer to a blender or food processor. Add sweetener (if you have not already) and the juice of 1/2 a lemon; blend until very smooth. Strain the fruit puree if desired (I left mine because I think the seeds are pretty)
  4. Smooth the fruit puree over the plastic wrap (between an 1/8th and a 1/4 of an inch thick). Bake for approximately 5-6 hours. The baking time will depend on the thickness of the puree and the temperature of the oven. It is done when the color has darkened and it is dry to the touch. It should peel off the plastic wrap very easily. You can store the leather wrapped up in parchment/wax paper on the counter or in the refrigerator. 

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
(For 1/12th of the recipe, about a 5x2.5 inch rectangular piece)
  • 50 Calories
  • 12g Carbohydrates
    • 8g Sugar
    • 2g Fiber
  • 1g Fat
  • 1g Protein

Big Soft Pretzels


Warm, soft, and topped with course salt. Just like the ones in the mall! Dip them in cheese sauce, mustard, or just eat them plain. They are delicious with almost any toppings! Some people even like them with cinnamon and sugar.


Pretzels are great because they are naturally fat free (as long as you don't add fat with the toppings). They also contain only a few basic ingredients that you probably have at home already... so get baking!

Big Soft Pretzels

(makes 12 large pretzels)
Slightly adapted from allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, unpacked
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons course salt for topping
     Water and baking soda bath:
  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
Method:
  • Dissolve yeast and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl with 1 1/2 cups warm water. Stir in both flours and salt. Knead dough on a floured surface for about 8 minutes (or until smooth and elastic). Spray a bowl with non-stick spray and place dough inside. Cover and let rise for 1 hour (or until doubled in size).
  • Stir 2 cups warm water and baking soda in a square baking pan or dish. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Divide dough into 3 and place one piece on each baking sheet. Cover two of them (so they don't dry out) and then divide the remaining one into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 2 ft long (try to get it as thin as possible; about the diameter of a pencil). Twist into a pretzel shape, securing the two ends into place with a bit of water. Dip into the water/baking soda solution, then immediately remove and transfer to parchment lined baking sheet. Cover baking sheet and let rise for 15-20 minutes. Repeat with remaining two pieces (i.e., divide into 4, roll into ropes, twist into pretzel shape) ending with 12 pretzels. 
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Top with course salt (or other desired topping like cinnamon and sugar) and bake for 6-9 minutes, or until golden brown. For a chewy pretzel, bake until very lightly golden in color. 

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
(for 1 pretzel, 1/12th of the recipe)
  • 139 Calories
  • 31g Carbohydrates
    • 2g Sugar
    • 1g Fiber
  • 0g Fat
  • 4g Protein

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins





I love the fresh taste of lemons. I also love to bake with them (see my recipe for Fresh and Zesty Blueberry-Lemon Loaf), so it seemed only natural to post a recipe on a classic lemon recipe... Lemon Poppy Seed muffins!


The light fluffy texture of these muffins is perfect for a warm summer evening. They are perfectly moist, sweet, and tart at the same time :) YUM!


You can skip the glaze to save a few calories, but I like the extra sweetness it adds. I do have a bit of a sweet tooth though, so use your own discretion.


Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

(12 muffins)


Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup calorie reduced buttery spread (like Becel 63% less calories)
  • 2/3 cup sweetener of choice 
  • 2 eggs, separated and room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • zest of 2 lemons (yellow part only)
  • 1/2 cup fat free, plain Greek yogurt
  • juice of 1 lemon (2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • nonstick spray
Method:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray.
  • In the large bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl using a hand held mixer), cream butter and sweetener until light and fluffy. Add the 2 egg yolks one at a time.
  • In another bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, poppy seeds, and lemon zest.
  • Turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients, alternating twice with yogurt. Then add the lemon juice, lemon extract, and vanilla extract. Mix until just combined; batter will be thick. Do not over mix.
  • In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into batter gently until smooth. 
  • Spoon batter into muffin tins about 3/4 full. Bake in the center of your oven for 20 min, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Drizzle with glaze if desired (recipe follows). 

Vanilla-Lemon Glaze

Ingredients:
  • 4 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon almond milk
  • couple drops each of vanilla and lemon extract
Method:
  • Mix all ingredients together in a small cup or bowl. Drizzle onto cooled muffins with a fork.



NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

One muffin WITHOUT glaze:
  • 93 Calories
  • 11g Carbohydrates
    • 0g Sugar
    • 1g Fiber
  • 4g Fat
  • 4g Protein
One muffin WITH glaze:
  • 109 Calories
  • 15g Carbohydrates
    • 4g Sugar
    • 1g Fiber
  • 4g Fat
  • 4g Protein

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Chia Seed Pudding


Chia seeds are an amazing health food. They have a neutral taste, so you can make them taste however you prefer. They increase in size when you add liquid to them, so they keep you full for a long time! Also, chia contains Omega 3 oil which is great for heart health and may help with weight loss.


My variation of chia pudding is vanilla flavored. The texture reminds me of tapioca pudding. If you hate tapioca, maybe this recipe isn't for you. You could also make the pudding with chocolate almond milk, peanut butter, cocoa powder, protein powder... the possibilities are endless.

Chia Seed Pudding

(2 servings)

Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sweetener to taste (I used liquid stevia)
  • cinnamon powder for sprinkling on top (optional)
Method:
  • Mix all ingredients (except cinnamon) together in a bowl. Let rest for 40 minutes, or until thickened. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
(for 1/2 the recipe)
  • 90 Calories
  • 8g Carbohydrates
    • 0g Sugar
    • 8g Fiber
  • 7g Fat
  • 4g Protein

Monday, 21 May 2012

Skinny Pork Ribs and Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce


I am still on holiday in Kelowna, BC with my family. My sister, Samantha (she is a vegetarian), decided to go out with some friends the other day, so the rest of us decided to have ribs! Ribs are often well over 1000 calories if you order them at a restaurant. This version is only 325 calories per serving, so fire up your grill and get cooking!


To get the tender, juicy, falling off the bone texture everybody loves, I cooked the ribs in the oven for 2 hours before grilling. The grill is great for adding flavor and crispiness, but not the best for getting the outcome I desired here.



Skinny Pork Ribs and Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce


Pork Ribs
(8 4oz servings)

Ingredients:
  • 2 racks baby back ribs
  • 2  liters Diet Dr Pepper
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle chile powder, divided
Method:
  • Place ribs, Dr Pepper, salt, and 1 tablespoon chile powder in a large baking dish. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours (preferably overnight). 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour out most of the liquid in the baking dish; leaving about 1 cup. Dry the ribs slightly and rub them with the remaining tablespoon of chile powder. Cover tightly with foil (or a lid) and bake 2 hours.
  • Brush the ribs with sauce, then place bone side down on the grill. Grill for 10-15 min. Flip them, cooking until just charred. Remove and brush with more sauce if desired. 

Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce
(about 8 servings, over a 1/4 cup each)

Ingredients:
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can tomato paste (6oz)
  • 1 can (120z) Diet Dr Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sweetener of choice
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 2-3 teaspoons liquid smoke
Method:
  • Add water and onion to a large saucepan. Cook over low-med heat until soft and translucent. Stir in garlic, continue cooking until fragrant (do not burn the garlic). Add remaining ingredients, except liquid smoke. Simmer 20-30 min, adjusting seasoning along the way (e.g., adding more vinegar, sweetener, spice, etc.). Stir in liquid smoke just before serving.
  • This recipes makes about 8 servings of just over a 1/4 cup sauce per person.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
1 serving: 4oz meat and over 1/4 cup of sauce
  • 325 Calories
  • 6g Carbohydrates
    • 3g Sugar
    • 0g Fiber
  • 23g Fat
  • 23g Protein

Friday, 18 May 2012

Fudgey Peanut Butter Brownies




I have been on a chocolate and peanut butter bender this past week, so I thought I would finish it off with one of my favorite desserts... BROWNIES! This is a guilt free version that will satisfy even the worst chocolate craving.


Ok, so I know "fudgey" isn't a word, but I feel like it describes the chocolatey goodness of these brownies perfectly! These are dense, moist, and the perfect balance between chocolate and peanut butter. Give them a try... you won't regret it :)

Fudgey Peanut Butter Brownies

(16 servings)

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sweetener of choice (I used 24g of stevia. You could also use agave, sugar, etc.)
  • 1 cup (2/3rds of a 12oz package) Lite silken tofu (like Mori Nu)
  • 2 tablespoons whipped peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips 
  • non-stick spray
Method:
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray an 8x8 inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients; set aside.
  • In a blender or food processor, blend together wet ingredients until smooth.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients; mix until just combined.
  • Cook for 15-18 min, or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool, then cut into 16 squares. Enjoy!!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:

1 square without sugar:
  • 69 Calories
  • 11g Carbohydrates
    • 3g Sugar
    • 2g FIber
  • 3g Fat
  • 3g Protein


1 square with sugar:


  • 92 Calories
  • 17g Carbohydrates
    • 9g Sugar
    • 2g Fiber
  • 3g Fat
  • 3g Protein


Thursday, 17 May 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Cakes


Remember, whatever the question is... chocolate is the answer!


Chocolate, peanut butter, and fudge... quite possibly my favorite things... put them together and you get a magnificent, yet healthy, dessert!


Don't you want a spoonful of this?!



I was inspired to make this chocolate peanut butter fudge cake to feed my chocolate addiction. The chocoholic within has been satisfied! This dessert is the epitome of decadence... rich, silky, and smooth! A chocolate lovers paradise. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Cakes

(Makes 6 servings)

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 9 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 10 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup sweetener (like agave, stevia (adjust accordingly because stevia is sweeter than sugar), or Sucralose)
Method:
  • Melt peanut butter for 15 seconds in the microwave. Put the peanut butter, thawed strawberries, coca powder, and sweetener in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
  • Spray 6 1/2 cup custard cups (ramekins) with non-stick spray. Pour fudge into them and freeze/refrigerate depending on the desired consistency. I like it best when frozen, but slightly thawed. If you leave it at room temperature, you may use it as a fudge topping for various items  such as cakes, cupcakes, pancakes, etc.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
For 1/6th of the recipe


  • 172 Calories
  • 13g Carbohydrates
    • 6g Sugar
    • 6g Fiber
  • 12g Fat
  • 9g Protein

Cookie Dough Dip




I first saw this recipe on Chocolate Covered Katie's blog. It looked too good to be true! Cookie dough as healthy as hummus? No way! I gave it a try, and wow was I ever impressed :) Thanks Katie.


Like Katie said, who wouldn't want to eat a whole BIG BOWL of cookie dough? Nobody! This bowl just happens to be healthy, protein rich, and delicious. Nobody who tried this recipe had any idea it was a "health food". It is boyfriend and friend approved!


I have tried it several different ways, and this is my favorite version flavor wise (and calorie wise)... it also happens to be gluten free. Try serving it with animal crackers or graham crackers (or out of the bowl with a spoon like I do... just make sure you have a glass of milk nearby because this stuff is decadent).

Cookie Dough Dip

Slightly adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie's recipe
(8 servings)

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas or white beans 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons whipped peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup sweetener of choice
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips 
Method:
  • Add first 6 ingredients to a food processor. Process until very smooth and velvety. Mix in chocolate chips and serve with graham crackers, animal crackers, or straight from the bowl! 

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
  • 126 Calories
  • 17g Carbohydrates
    • 6g Sugar
    • 3g Fiber
  • 5g Fat
  • 4g Protein

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Garlicky Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"


This creamy side dish will have all your friends and family tricked! It is hard to taste the difference between these garlicky "mashed potatoes" and the real thing. Although it is definitely NOT hard to tell the difference between their nutritional information! One cup of boiled potatoes has 134 calories (that is not including all the cream and butter most people add), compared to 28 calories in the same amount of boiled cauliflower.


Some mashed cauliflower recipes include loads of butter, sour cream, or cream to achieve a similar texture of the original stuff. My recipe uses fat free Greek yogurt to create the same effect.


Garlicky Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"

(4 servings)

Ingredients:
  • 1 head cauliflower (clean and chopped up)
  • 3/4 cup fat free, plain Greek yogurt (room temperature)
  • 1 bulb garlic, peeled (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
Method:
  • Boil cauliflower, onion, and garlic until very soft. Drain well and let sit in strainer for more water to evaporate, then place into a food processor (or electric mixing bowl). Pulse until smooth but still a bit lumpy.
  • Add Greek yogurt, salt, and pepper. Pulse until smooth and creamy. Serve hot!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
(for 1/4 of the recipe)
  • 79 Calories
  • 10g Carbohydrates
    • 6g Sugar
    • 4g Fiber
  • 0g Fat
  • 8g Protein