Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Quick & Easy: Cranberry Pork Chops

I saw this recipe last year and wanted to try it.  Only problem, it was the "off" season for fresh cranberries.  Solved that problem by buying extra bags this past holiday season and putting them in the freezer.  And this recipe is definitely worth having cranberries on hand.

Serves - 4  /  Serving Size - 1 pork chop & 1/4 sauce
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp celery salt
4 boneless pork loin chops (approx. 12 oz total)
2 tsp cooking oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced & separated into rings
2 Tblspn water
3/4 cup cranberries
1/4 cup sugar [used 1/8 cup Splenda blend]
3 Tblspn water
2 Tblspn frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed [used oj with extra pulp]
1 tsp finely shredded orange peel
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp salt

1.  In a small bowl stir together pepper and celery salt; rub onto both side of chops.  In a medium skillet heat oil over medium-high heat.  Cook pork chops and onion rings in hot oil until chops are browned, turning once.  Carefully add the 2 tablespoons water to skillet.  Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes more or until juices run clear (160º).  Transfer chops to serving plate; keep warm.  Remove onions from juices with a slotted spoon.  Set aside.

2.  Meanwhile, for the sauce, in a medium saucepan combine cranberries, sugar, the 3 tablespoons water, the orange juice concentrate, orange peel, sage, and salt.  Cook and stir over medium heat about 10 minutes or until the cranberry skins pop and mixture thickens.  Stir in the onions; heat through.  Serve sauce with pork chops.

Exchanges:  1-1/2 fruit  ;  2 lean meat
Calories - 209                          Sodium - 264mg
Total Fat - 8g                           Total Carbs - 22g   w/net carbs - 20g
   Saturated Fat - 2g                     Dietary Fiber - 2g
Cholesterol - 38mg                   Protein - 13g

[Sugars were not included in the Nutrition Facts]

Source: Better Homes and Gardens Great Recipes Collection Diabetic Meals

Review/Suggestions:

  • Didn't have celery salt so substituted with regular salt.
  • While I was getting the ingredients together for the pork rub, I went ahead and put together the ingredients for the cranberries.  So when it came time to prepare them, all I had to do was turn the burner on.
  • Next time I would definitely cut the amount of pepper to an 1/8 teaspoon so it's not so strong.
  • Didn't have sage, and honestly with how strong the pepper was, I'm not sure you would have been able to taste it.
  • The adjustment in pepper aside, this is definitely a nice change for preparing pork chops.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Quick & Easy: Affresco Shrimp & Pasta

Decided to experiment with my shrimp & pasta.  The results - I was told to DEFINITELY make this dish again!  The taste is light and fresh, hence the name "affresco" (fresh).  ; )

Serves - 2
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

1/2 pound shrimp [used pre-cooked with tails removed]
3 mushrooms thinly sliced
10 grape tomatoes cut in halves
3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
fresh basil
Dreamfields angel hair pasta

1.  Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.  Add a little oil to the water to keep the pasta from sticking together.  Once boiling, add pasta.

2.  While waiting for water to boil, clean and thinly slice mushrooms and garlic.  Cut tomatoes into halves.

3.   When pasta is done, drain, rinse and set aside.

4.  In a large nonstick skillet, add the olive oil and heat under medium-high flame.  Add the garlic - sauté just until it becomes aromatic, 1-2 minutes.  Add the mushrooms to the garlic and cook until the mushrooms just start to become soft, 1-2 minutes.  Next add the shrimp and tomatoes and toss lightly for 1-2 minutes.  Last, add the pasta, toss and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

5.  After plating, drizzle lemon juice over shrimp/pasta and top with fresh basil.

Source:  own creation

Using recipes.sparkpeople.com, this is the Nutrition Facts:

Calories - 196                      Sodium - 332.8mg
Total Fat - 8.2g                    Total Carbs - 5.6g   w/net carbs - 5.1g
   Saturated Fat - 1.3g               [Net carbs - 10.1g w/serving of Dreamfields]
   Polyunsat - 1.2g                    Dietary Fiber - 0.5g   
   Monounsat - 5.2g                  Sugar - 1.9g     
Cholesterol - 221.0mg          Protein - 24.4g

Review/Suggestions:

  • I hadn't planned out quite right when the pasta would be done and starting on sautéing the garlic.  So I just moved the skillet to the back burner and finished the pasta, set it aside and went back to cooking the rest of the dish.
  • Though this dish is high in cholesterol, you have to delve further.  In the case of shrimp, though it does contain some "bad" cholesterol, also known as LDL, it contains a significant amount of "good" cholesterol, also known as HDL.  Remember, not all cholesterol is bad.  And in this case, shrimp is definitely on your healthy side.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Quick& Easy: Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are those days when you just want a chocolate chip cookie - today was one of those days.

Makes 36 cookies
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 to 12 minutes

2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed [used Splenda brown sugar]
2/3 cup Splenda granular
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour [used half all-purpose and half white whole wheat flour]
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips [used Ghirardelli bittersweet chips]

1.  Preheat oven 305ºF.

2.  Blend butter, brown sugar, Splenda and vanilla in medium bowl.  Stir until creamy.

3.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing and scraping sides of bowl after each addition.  Add flour, baking soda and salt; blend.  Stir in chocolate chips.

4.  Place level tablespoons of cookie dough on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool on wire cooling rack.

Exchanges:  1 starch  /  1 fat
Calories - 100                        Sodium - 95mg
   Calories from Fat - 45        Total Carbs - 12g  w/net carbs - 12g
Total Fat - 5g                             Dietary Fiber - 0.0g
   Saturated Fat - 3g                    Sugar - 6g
Cholesterol - 20mg                 Protein - 1g

By making the ingredient adjustments, the Nutrition Facts are as follows:


Calories - 86                        Sodium - 82mg
   Calories from Fat - 46     Total Carbs - 8.4g   w/net carbs -8.4g
Total Fat - 5.1g                         Dietary Fiber - 0.0g
   Saturated Fat - 3.2g               Sugar - 4.3g
Cholesterol - 20mg              Protein - 1.3g

Source: Splenda by Publications International. Ltd.

Review/Suggestions:
  • Even with making the ingredient adjustments, the taste was still "chocolate chip cookie!"

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Salmon-Potato Cakes with Mustard Tartar Sauce

For a completely different way to serve salmon, this recipe delivers.  And the mustard tartar sauce - loved it!

Serves - 2  /  Serving Size - 1 cake
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time:  25-30 minutes

3 unpeeled small red potatoes (about 8 ounces)
1 cup cooked flaked salmon
1 egg white
2 green onions, chopped
1 Tblspn chopped fresh parsley
1/s tsp cajun or creole seasoning mix
1 tsp olive or canola oil

MUSTARD TARTAR SAUCE
1 Tlbspn reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 Tblspn plain fat-free yogurt or fat-free sour cream  [used light sour cream]
2 tsp coarse grain mustard
1 Tblspn chopped fresh parsley
1 Tblspn chopped dill pickle [omitted]
1 tsp lemon juice

1.  Halve potatoes; place in small saucepan with 1/2 cup water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Drain; mash potatoes with fork.

2.  Combine mashed potatoes, salmon, egg white, green onions, parsley and seasoning mix in medium bowl.

3.  Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Turn 1/2 cup salmon mixture out into skillet; flatten slight.  Repeat for second cake.  Cook 7 minutes or until browned, turning once.  Meanwhile combine all sauce ingredients in small bowl.  Serve cakes with sauce.

Exchanges:  1-1/2 starch  /  2 lean meat  /  1 fat
Calories - 276                              Sodium - 300mg
   Calories from Fat - 102             Total Carbs - 24g   w/net carbs - 22g
Total Fat - 11g                                 Dietary Fiber - 2g
   Saturated Fat - 2g                          Sugar - 2g
Cholesterol - 52mg                        Protein - 19g

Source:  Favorite Brand Name Diabetic Cooking - Main Dishes

Review/Suggestions:

  • I had 1 pound of salmon - placed in pyrex dish, covered with plastic wrap and vented one side, placed in microwave and cooked for 6 minutes on high.  Needless to say, I probably had 2 cups of cooked salmon.
  • Only had small white potatoes.  I didn't bother to measure the liquid to boil the potatoes - silly to me.  Just place potatoes in saucepan, add water and boil.
  • While the salmon and potatoes were cooking, I went ahead and made the mustard tartar sauce so that way I could just focus on making and cooking the salmon cakes.
  • Because I had double the amount of salmon, my mixture did not hold together extremely well.  Next time I would probably add another egg white.
  • Recently reminded that fat-free ingredients are not the best choice for diabetics.  Since all the fat is removed, other binding agents are used which are usually high in carbohydrates.
  • Even with being able to make a total of four cakes, there was plenty of mustard tartar sauce.

Luscious Lemon Bars

The perfect dessert when having seafood (or any food for that matter).

Makes - 3 dozen bars
Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes

2 cups all-purpose flour [used 1 cup AP & 1 cup white whole wheat]
1 cup (2 sticks) butter [used Spectrum - non-hydrogenated shortening]
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting
1 Tblspn plus 1 tsp grated lemon peel, divided
1/4 tsp salt [used 1/8 tsp salt]
1 cup granulated sugar [used heaping 1/2 cup Splenda blend]
3 eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1.  Preheat oven 350ºF.  Grease 13x9" baking pan; set aside.

2.  Place flour, butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon peel and salt in food processor.  Cover; process until mixture forms coarse crumbs.  Press mixture evenly into prepared baking pan.  Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

3.  Meanwhile, beat granulated sugar, eggs, lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon peel in medium bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended.

4.  Pour mixture evenly over warm crust.  Return to oven; bake 18 to 20 minutes or until center is set and edges are golden brown.  Remove pan to wire rack; cool completely.  Dust with additional powdered sugar; cut into 2 x 1-1/2" bars.  Store tightly covered at room temperature.  Do not freeze.

Exchanges:  1 starch  /  1 fat
Calories - 105                        Sodium - 72mg
   Calories from Fat - 50        Total Carbs - 13g   w/net carbs -12.5g
Total Fat - 6g                             Dietary Fiber - <1g
   Saturated Fat - 3g                   Sugar - 7.3g
Cholesterol - 31mg                 Protein - 1g

By making the ingredient adjustments, the Nutrition Facts are as follows:

Calories - 50                          Sodium - 13mg
  Calories from Fat - 4           Total Carbs - 9.6g
Total Fat - 0.4g                         Sugar - 4.5g
Cholesterol - 16mg                Protein - 1.3g

Source:  Favorite Brand Name Diabetic Cooking - Desserts

Review/Suggestions:

  • Because of using the non-hydrogenated Spectrum, the crust baked faster and ended up tasting like it was slightly scorched.  Next time I will only bake it for 12 minutes.
  • Even though grated lemon was added to the crust, as well as in the filling, it didn't taste as nice and tangy as I would have liked.  Definitely will add more grated lemon to both the crust and filling.
  • Though whole wheat flours are healthier, for diabetics they are not a friend.  Whole wheat flours & breads (same with white flour/breads) are higher in carbs & have a higher glycemic index - both which raise blood sugar.  Flours recommended - barley, buckwheat, oat and sourdough starter, as well as sourdough bread & whole grain breads have a low glycemic index.   [Talk about being surprised.  So now to use up my white whole wheat and whole wheat flour in baked goods and breads for others.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Quick & Easy: Sesame-Orange Shrimp

One word describes this dish - AWESOME!

Serves - 4  /  Serving Size - 1/4 of dish
Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time:  15 minutes

3 Tblspn sesame seeds (white, black or a mix)
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt [omitted]
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp (21-25 per pound)  [used frozen, cooked]
2 Tblspn canola oil, divided
3/4 cup orange juice [used 1/2 cup]
1/4 cup dry sherry [cooking sherry is high in sodium - recommended dry sherry sold with other fortified wines]
2 Tblspn reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sugar [used half packet of Stevia sugar substitute]
1 scallion, thinly sliced

1.  Whisk sesame seeds, egg whites, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Add shrimp and toss to coat.

2.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add half the shrimp and cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes per side.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the rest of the shrimp.

3.  Add orange juice, sherry, soy sauce and sugar to the pan.  Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced by half, 4 to 6 minutes.  Return the shrimp to the pan and stir to coat with the sauce.  Serve immediately, with scallion sprinkled on top.

Exchange: [ not listed]
[note Nutrition Facts based on omitting salt and using only 1/2 cup orange juice]
Calories - 276                         Sodium - 584mg
   Calories from Fat - 105       Total Carbs - 14.4g   w/net carbs - 13.3g
Total Fat - 11.7g                         Dietary Fiber - 1.1g
   Saturated Fat - 1.3g                  Sugar - 4.0g
   Trans Fat - 0.0g                    Protein - 27.5g
Cholesterol - 221mg

Source: EatingWell web site @ eatingwell.com

Review/Suggestions:

  • You can definitely use the frozen, cooked shrimp - another time saver.
  • After thawing the shrimp, rinse and place on paper towels to pat dry.  This makes the difference in having the batter stick to the shrimp.
  • In reading the other reviews on this recipe, I also learned that you need to make sure to place each shrimp in the skillet WITHOUT crowding them together otherwise they will stick together.  If your skillet is ready, as soon as you place each shrimp in, you will see the coating start to puff.  Definitely wait the 1-2 minutes and then you can turn each one without any problems.
  • Because of following the suggestions above, the shrimp were really easy to work with and I didn't end up with problems like some other reviewers had [everything sticking together into one large blob.]
  • Only because I happen to have just enough dry sherry for this recipe did I use it.  Otherwise, next time going to use sugar-free Cranberry juice along with the orange juice.
  • By decreasing the orange juice to 1/2 cup, we went from 5.3g of sugar to 4.0g.
  • If you are making this for two [I used a total of 16 shrimp], this recipe cooks up really quickly.  So if serving with rice, make sure to start it first otherwise your shrimp will be done before your rice.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chicken in Walnut Sauce

As noted in the book, walnuts are high in heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids which you should include in your meal plans.  They are also easy to have on hand as you can store in the freezer for up one year.

Serves - 6  /  Serving Size - 3oz chicken plus 1/3 cup sauce
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes

6 (4oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tblspn all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
2 Tblspn olive oil
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup chopped green onions [used 1 shallot instead]
1 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth  [used home-made - already minimal fat & low sodium]
2 Tblspn chopped fresh parsley or 1 Tblspn drived parsley flakes
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup finely chopped (almost ground) walnuts, toasted

1.  Coat the chicken with flour and season with salt and pepper (if using).  In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and cook the chicken 5-7 minutes or until browned on both sides.

2.  Add the mushrooms, green onions, broth, parsley, and thyme.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and continue cooking for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

3.  Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and keep warm.  Add the sour cream and walnuts to the skillet and heat through, but do not boil.  Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Exchanges: 1/2 starch  /  3 lean meat
Calories - 240                          Sodium - 106mg
   Calories from Fat - 83          Total Carbs - 8g   w/net carbs - 7g
Total Fat - 9g                               Dietary Fiber - 1g
   Saturated Fat - 1g                     Sugar - 2g
Cholesterol - 69mg                   Protein - 30g

Source:  Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking by Holly Clegg

Review/Suggestions:

  • Today was one of those days where I just didn't feel like going to the store to pick up the few ingredients I didn't have.  No green onions so instead used a shallot, significantly less mushrooms and ground thyme.
  • Ok, now after having made this, I would definitely use green onions - totally different flavor using the shallot.  Oh well.
  • This was good, yet expected something different in taste because of the "walnut sauce".  Now want to experiment on the "walnut sauce" part.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Quick & Easy: Barbecue Sauce

Oops! The last morsel left for a pic!
Found this online as I needed to make some quick for country-style ribs I cooked.  Again, used the basic recipe as a guide in what to use, but not necessarily the measurements called for.

1-1/2 cups no-salt-added tomato sauce [didn't have - used ketchup]
1/3 cup lemon juice
1-1/2 Tblspn brown sugar substitute [used Splenda brown sugar]
3 Tblspn cider vinegar
2 Tblspn low-sodium worcestershire sauce
2 tsp minced garlic
1-1/2 tsp prepared mustard
3/4 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper

1.  Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

2.  Brush over chicken or pork while grilling or broiling.

Exchanges: [not listed]
Calories - 6                         Sodium - 5mg
   Calories from Fat - 0       Total Carbs - 1.2g  [net carbs same]
Total Fat - 0.0g                       Sugar - 0.5g
   Trans Fat - 0.0g                Protein - 0.1g
Cholesterol - 0mg

Source: http://www.grouprecipes.com/103445/zesty-barbecue-sauce-for-diabetics.html

Review/Suggestions:

  • Well, right off the bat, no tomato sauce - substituted ketchup.  And instead of measuring I just poured enough into the saucepan until it looked like an amount sufficient for the ribs.
  • Again, same with the lemon juice - probably ended up using 1/4 cup.
  • Skipped the minced garlic and prepared mustard
  • Added enough ground red pepper until I thought it tasted spicy enough.
  • Definitely a hit as it has a sweet, tart and spicy flavor!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chicken Cacciatore

Per this book, "true chicken cacciatore is a smooth tomato wine sauce flavored with only onion, mushrooms and garlic."  After reading this, I decided to give it a try.  Though not in the "Quick & Easy" category, it is definitely worth making.

Serves - 4  /  Serving Size 2 thighs
Preparation Time: 40-45 minutes
Cook Time:  35 minutes

8 (4 oz each) skin on, bone-in chicken thighs [prefer using 2 boneless, skinless breasts cut into thirds]
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tblspn all-purpose flour
1 cup dry red wine (dry Chianti works well)
1/2 cup low-fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth [used homemade chicken broth]
2  14-1/2 oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained [only used one can]
1 Tblspn fresh minced thyme
1 cup fresh chopped basil

1.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a large sauté  pan or Dutch oven on medium-high heat until shimmering and almost smoking.  Add the chicken in two batches, skin side, down, until well browned, about 5-6 minutes.  Turn over the thighs and brown for another 5-6 minutes.  Repeat with the second batch of chicken.  Remove the chicken to a plate.

2.  Drain off all but 2 tsp of the fat.  Add the onion and mushrooms to the pan and sauté  minimally for about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Sprinkle the onion and mushrooms with the flour until the flour is incorporated into the vegetables, about 30 seconds.

3.  Add in the wine, broth, and tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Remove the skin from each piece of chicken.  Discard the skin.  Add the chicken to the pan, nestling it in the sauce.   Lower the heat and simmer the chicken for about 30 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the sauce, place on a plate, and tent with foil.  Raise the heat and add the thyme and additional salt and pepper, as desired.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until thick.  Add in the fresh basil.  Serve the sauce over the chicken.

Exchanges/Choices: 4 vegetable  /  3 lean meat  /   2 fat
Calories - 330                         Sodium - 450mg
   Calories from Fat - 115       Total Carbs - 20g   w/net carbs - 16g
Total Fat - 13.0g                        Dietary Fiber - 4g
   Saturated Fat - 3.5g                 Sugar - 9g
   Trans Fat - 0.0g                    Protein - 30g
cholesterol - 90mg

Source:  The Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook by Robyn Webb, MS

Review/Suggestions:

  • Since I prefer using boneless, skinless chicken breast, it made making this dish that much easier to prepare - just cut the breast into thirds.  Because of the quick searing, the chicken was still tender and moist.  More importantly, didn't have to mess with removing the skin after cooking and no bone to have to cut around.
  • I bought whichever mushrooms were the cheapest.  So you might have to cut the slices in half, big deal.
  • For a meal for two, you can definitely get by with one can of tomatoes.
  • No fresh thyme, dried worked just fine.  Another herb I plan on growing this year (along with basil).
  • You've probably discovered an underlying motto with most of these recipes, make it work with what you have in your pantry or freezer.  Now, I do realize there are some ingredients that really are a "make or break" deal, so you choose which ones are the most important and most cost-efficient for you.

Quick & Easy: Rise-and-Shine Cookies

Who can argue with cookies for breakfast especially when they're high in fiber, low in fat and oh so tasty?!

Serves - 15-20  /  Serving - 2 cookies
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time:  10 minutes

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar [used Splenda brown sugar - did not firmly pack]
Egg substitute equivalent to 1 egg
3 Tblspn vegetable oil
1-1/4 cups quick-cooking or regular rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ

1.  Preheat oven 350ºF.

2.  In a small bowl, stir together flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Set side.

3.  In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, egg substitute, and vegetable oil.  Stir until well combined.  Stir in flour mixture, oats, and wheat germ.

4.  Drop dough by tablespoons about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet.  Flatten slightly to a 2-inch diameter with your hand or the bottom of a glass.  Bake 10 minutes or until light brown.  Cool on wire racks.  Store cooled cookies in an airtight container for one week or in the freezer for several weeks.

Exchange - [information not listed]
Calories - 116                         Sodium - 74mg
    Calories from Fat - 32       Total Carbs - 18g  w/net carbs - 16.8g
Total Fat - 4g                             Dietary Fiber - 1.2g
   Saturated Fat - 1g                    Sugar - 6.4g
   Polyunsat Fat - 2g                 Protein - 3g
   Monounsat Fat - 1g
Cholesterol - 0g

Source: American Heart Association Quick & Easy Cookbook by the American Heart Association

Review/Suggestions:
  • I will definitely go with 1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar next time.  They are very sweet.  Since you only need to use half the amount of Splenda to regular sugar, the nutritional analysis that I ran with the 1/4 cup Splenda resulted in only had good points about the recipe (very high in manganese and high in selenium).
  • Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.  You can keep using the same sheets to bake all the cookies and then just throw away.  Best part, no cookie sheets to wash.
  • At first I tried using a glass to flatten the dough, but kept having to peel them off the glass, so I ended up using my palm.
  • Either way, if you have a picky eater - they will never be able to tell that you used whole wheat flour or wheat germ in the recipe.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Quick & Easy: Cheesy Oven-Fried Chicken

The recipe states that these are just right for little hands and big appetites.  They're also just right for big hands and little appetites (or big appetites) too.

Serves - 4  /  Serving Size - 4 chicken strips
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 5-7 minutes

vegetable oil spray
2 cups bite-size, low-fat cheddar-cheese flavored crackers
1/2 to 3/4 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless checken breasts or turkey breast tenderloins, all visible fat removed
2 Tblspn skim milk

1.  Preheat oven 400º.  Spray a shallow baking pan with vegetable oil.

2.  Place crackers, basil, and pepper in a large plastic bag with a tight-fitting seal (leave end open so air can escape) and use a rolling pin to crush the crackers.  Or place crackers, basil, and pepper in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until finely crushed; transfer to large plastic bag.  Set aside.

3.  Rinse chicken and pat dry.  Cut into 16 strips, about 1x3 inches each.  Dip chicken in milk.  Add chicken strips, a few pieces at a time, to bag with cracker mixture.  Seal bag and shake until chicken is coated.  Place coated chicken in a single layer on prepared baking pan.

4.  Bake, uncovered 5 to 7 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink.

For Cheesy Nuggets
Prepare recipe as above except cut chicken into bite-size pieces.  Bake for 5 minutes or until tender and no longer pink.

Exchange information not provided -
Calories - 212                            Sodium - 292mg
   Calories from Fat - 77            Total Carbs - 14g   w/net carbs - 14g
Total Fat - 5g                             Protein - 27g
   Saturated Fat - 1g                    Cholesterol - 62mg
   Polyunsat - 1g
   Monounsat - 2g

Source: American Heart Association Quick & Easy Cookbook by the American Heart Association

Review/Suggestions:

  • To add a little spice, sprinkle a little Tabasco and voilà you have a healthy version of buffalo chicken tenders.
  • And for those who don't want cheese, you can either use Club crackers [chicken strips in the second dish] or Ritz crackers.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Quick & Easy: Filet Mignon au Vin

Special occasion?  What better way to celebrate than with a fabulous steak dinner in less than 25 minutes?

Serves - 2  /  Serving Size - 1 steak and 1/2 cup sauce
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: Approx. 25 minutes

2  1-inch thick beef tenderloin steaks (6 oz each)
1/4 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp black pepper, divided
2 tsp butter [used Benecol]
1/2 of a small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms thinly sliced
1/4 cup dry red wine

1.  Coat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray.  Season the steaks with 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.

2.  Heat the skillet over medium heat.  Add the steaks and cook for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or to desired doneness.  Remove from the skillet; set aside and keep warm.

3.  Melt the butter in the skillet over medium-high heat; add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, and the remaining 1/8 tsp each of salt and pepper; sauté the mushrooms and onion until tender.

4.  Stir in the wine and cook over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the wine is reduced by half.  Serve the steaks topped with the mushroom-wine sauce.

Exchanges:   4 lean meat  /  2 vegetable  /  1 fat
Calories - 309                           Sodium - 404mg
   Calories from Fat - 133        Total Carbs - 8g   w/net carbs - 6g
Total Fat - 15g                            Dietary Fiber - 2g
   Saturated Fat - 7g                     Sugar - 4g
Cholesterol - 100mg                  Protein - 33g

Source: Mr. Food Every Day's a Holiday Diabetic Cooking by Art Ginsburg Mr. Food

Review/Suggestions:
  • Our steaks were possibly only 4oz, so we ended up with extra mushrooms.  If you only want a nice accompaniment, you can possibly get by with 1/3 pound of mushrooms.  Otherwise, this dish is extremely tasty for a special occasion.
  • Used heavy-duty aluminum foil to wrap the cooked steaks.  For the short period of time the steaks were to stay warm, this worked fantastically.

Quick & Easy: Chocolate Covered Strawberries

YUM!  Hard to argue with the health benefits of dark chocolate AND getting a serving of fruit too!  Just remember though, everything in moderation.

Serving Size - 1 strawberry

strawberries
1/4 cup Ghirardelli bittersweeet baking chips
1 tsp canola oil

1.  Wash and dry strawberries.  Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.

2.  In a large microwavable cup/mug, place the baking chips and oil.  Microwave for 1 minute at power level of 7.

3.  Carefully remove the cup and stir the chips and oil until the mixture is a smooth liquid consistency.

4.  Carefully dip and swirl the strawberry in the liquid chocolate.  While still holding the strawberry, allow excess chocolate to drip back into the cup.  Place chocolate covered strawberry on the wax paper lined cookie sheet.  Continue the process for the rest of the strawberries.  Cover with tented foil so as not to touch the strawberries and place in the fridge to let the chocolate set.

Exchanges:  1 fruit
(8-10) fresh strawberries
Calories - 50                     Sodium - 2mg
Total Fat - 0.6g                Total carbs - 11g   w/net carbs - 7.5g
Protein - 1g                          Dietary Fiber - 3.5g
                                              Sugar - 7g

1/4 cup Ghirardelli bittersweet chips (32 chips)
Calories - 160                         Sodium - 0mg
    Calories from Fat - 100      Total carbs - 16g   w/net carbs - 14g
Total Fat - 12g                             Dietary Fiber - 2g
   Saturated Fat - 7g                    Sugar - 12g
   Trans Fat - 0g                       Protein - 1g
Cholesterol - 0g

Source: my own creation

Review/Suggestions:

  • Ok, so I looked at several different conversion charts and basically came up with looking at each individual ingredient's nutritional facts.
  • Again, moderation!  And remember, you need to make sure that you are adding this dessert into your total carbs for your meal.
  • Being able to have one is better than none.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Quick & Easy: Grilled Tuna Steak with Dill White Sauce

Indoor grilling can't get much easier, and tasty, than this!

Serves - 2   /  Serving Size - 1 steak (approx. 4oz)
Preparation Time: <5 minutes
Cooking Time: approx. 10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the steak)

2 tuna steaks
1 fresh lemon cut in half
dill white sauce*

1.  Preheat indoor grill to sear setting.  Spray grill with nonstick cooking spray.

2.  Place tuna steaks on grill.  Cook each side approximately 5 minutes or until tuna is no longer pink.

3.  Transfer to plate, squeeze lemon juice over tuna and then top with dill white sauce.

*Dill White Sauce

2 Tblspn butter or margarine [used Benecol]
2 Tlbspn flour
1-1/2 cup milk [used low-fat milk]
salt & pepper to taste
dill

1.  In medium saucepan melt butter and then gradually add flour.

2.  Using a whisk, gradually add milk to butter/flour mixture while continually stirring with whisk so sauce is not lumpy.

3.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Add dill (cook's discretion as to amount used).  Let sauce simmer, stirring occasionally, till thickened.

4.  Pour over plated tuna steaks and serve.

Exchanges:  1 very lean meat
Calories - 120 [w/sauce - 162]                   Sodium -  40mg  [w/sauce - 140mg]
 Total Fat - 1g [w/sauce - 4g]                    Total Carbs - 0.0g [w/sauce - 2.6g]
  Saturated Fat - 0.0g [w/ - 0.8g]                 Dietary Fiber - 0.0g [w/sauce - 0.1g]
   Trans Fat - 0.0g                                           Sugar - 0.0g  [w/sauce - 1.24g]
Cholesterol - 50mg [w/sauce - 52mg]         Protein - 26g [w/sauce - 27.09g]

Source: my own creation

Review/Suggestions:

  • It had been a while since cooking tuna steaks and I forgot you don't need a large steak for two people!  Needless to say, if you buy a steak this size, cut it in half and you will have dinner for two.
  • If you don't want to use flour to make your white sauce, you can use cornstarch instead.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Quick & Easy: Shrimp Provençal

I was pleasantly surprised by the light, fresh taste of this dish, and of course, who can argue with dinner in under 15 minutes?

Serves - 4  / Serving Size - 4 oz
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

1 Tblspn canola oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
3 Tblspn white wine
1 pound large peeled and deveined shrimp
2 Tblspn minced parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 14-1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
1 Tblspn balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup halved black olies
2 tsp drained capers
dash hot sauce
1/4 cup basil chiffonade (thinly sliced basil)

1.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Add the wine and let simmer until reduced.  Add the shrimp and flip over after 2 minutes.

2.  Add the parsley, oregano, tomatoes, vinegar, olives, capers and hot sauce.  Bring to a simmer for 3 minutes or until shrimp are fully cooked.

3.  Serve with a sprinkle of basil chiffonade.

Exchanges/Choices:  2 vegetable  /  3 lean meat
Calories - 200                       Sodium - 435mg
   Calories from Fat - 55       Total Carbs - 10g  w/net carbs 8g  [not including the pasta]
Total Fat - 6.0g                         Dietary Fiber - 2g
   Saturated Fat - 0.7g               Sugar - 5g
   Trans Fat - 0.0g                  Protein - 26g
Cholesterol - 185mg

Source: The Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook by Robyn Webb, MS

Review/Suggestions:

  • Ok, first and foremost skipped the black olives, capers and hot sauce.  Mind you these items I don't mind but boyfriend, not so much.
  • As for the capers - expensive.  Enough said.
  • Had the fresh parsley, but not the basil.  Dried basil leaves works just as well.
  • I always keep a bag of frozen cooked shrimp on hand.  It cuts down on prep and cook time.  For this recipe, I add the shrimp when you're ready to let everything simmer - it will still absorb the flavors, trust me.
  • For this recipe, I used Dreamfields penne [diabetic friendly pasta]

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Quick & Easy: Orange-Soy Salmon with Spinach


Talk about easy - pop it into the microwave and voila, it's dinner.  And even better - clean-up it a snap!

Serves - 4  /  Serving Size - 1 fillet
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 7 minutes

Grated peel and juice of 1/2 orange
1/2 Tblspn reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tblspn hoisin sauce
And for those not counting carbs
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 bag (6 oz) baby spinach
5 tsp water, divided
4 skinless salmon fillets (about 5 oz each), 1" thick
8 oz sugar snap peas
1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
2 scallions, sliced

1.  In a small bowl, combine the orange peel and juice, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger and sesame oil.  Mix to blend and set aside. Place the spinach in a mound to cover 2/3 of a microwaveable dish.  Drizzle and toss with 2 tsp of the water.  Place the salmon fillets on top.  On the other side f the dish, toss the snap peas, carrots, 1 Tblspn of the soy mixture, and the remaining 3 tsp water.  Drizzle 2 Tblspn of the soy mixture over the salmon.

2.  Cover with vented plastic wrap (keep wrap about 1" above food), and microwave on high power for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the salmon is slightly opaque in the center and the vegetables are tender.  Drizzle the remaining soy mixture over the salmon and vegetables.  Sprinkle with the scallions.

Exchanges/choices:  1 carb  /  1/2 starch  / 1 vegetable  / 5 meat  / 2 fat
Calories - 347                        Sodium - 595mg
Total Fat - 13g                      Total carbs - 15g   w/net carbs - 11g
   Saturated Fat - 2g                   Dietary Fiber - 4g
Cholesterol - 100mg                  Sugar - [not listed]
                                               Protein - 40g

Source: Prevention Diabetes Diet Cookbook by Editors of America's Leading Healthy Lifestyle Magazine with Ann Fittante, MS, RD

Review/Suggestions:

  • Ok, just let me say that I don't spend the time doing the veggies.  I do the spinach and usually have a salad with the meal.
  • I use orange juice from the carton and never what equals juice from 1/2 orange.  Fruit juices definitely have to be used in moderation since they are extremely high in sugar, albeit natural, but still is sugar.
  • I have yet to make this recipe and have hoisin sauce - someday.
  • Between the two salmon recipes (Glazed Mustard Salmon) and this one, this one wins hands down if you don't want to mess with more than one baking dish to clean up.  On the flip-side, it all depends on what your taste buds are in the mood for.








Quick & Easy: Double Chocolate Brownies

This recipe is absolutely positively decadent!  And at only 10g net carbs, I've found my daily dose of dark chocolate, which is good for diabetics too!

Serves - 20  /  Serving Size - 1 square
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa (such as Droste)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (such as Ghiradelli)
1 Tblspn butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar [used Splenda brown sugar blend)
3 Tblspn reduced-fat sour cream
1 Tblspn unsweetened applesauce
1 Tblspn fat-free chocolate syrup [used coffee flavor syrup]
1 egg
1 egg white
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 325ºF.  Coat an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl, mix together the four, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

3.  In a microwave-safe container, add the chocolate chips and butter.  Microwave for 1 minute.  Remove from the microwave carefully and stir the mixture until it is smooth.  Add the melted chocolate mixture to a large bowl.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  If a microwave is not available, heat a small saucepan with 1/4 cup water, bring to a simmer.  Put a mixing bowl on top and add the chocolate chips and butter. Stir mixture until melted, about 5 minutes.  Add the melted chocolate to a large bowl, let cook for 5 minutes.

4.  Add the sugars, sour cream, applesauce, chocolate syrup, egg, egg white, and vanilla to the melted chocolate mixture and stir until well combined.  Slowly add the four in thirds to the chocolate mixture.  Do not overbeat; mix until just combined.

5.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.  Position the oven rack to the lower third of the oven.  Bake the brownies for 15 minutes.  Insert a tester.  The brownies should look slightly under-baked and the top should look fudgy.

6.  Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack.  Let the brownies cool for 2 hours in the pan.  The brownies will firm up a bit.  Cut into 20 squares.

Exchanges/Choices:  1 carb
Calories - 65                         Sodium - 60mg
   Calories from Fat - 20      Total carbs - 11g    w/net carbs - 10g
Total Fat - 2.0g                         Dietary Fiber - 1g
    Saturated Fat - 1.2g               Sugar - 7g
    Trans Fat - 0.0g                Protein - 1g
Cholesterol - 15mg

Source: The Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook by Robyn Webb, MS

Review/Suggestions:
  • The original recipe calls for temp of 325ºF for 15 minutes. Even with checking the accuracy of my oven with a thermometer, these were nowhere close to being even slightly underbaked, let alone firming up after 2 hours. So back in the oven at 350ºF for another 15-17 minutes.
  • To draw out the flavor of chocolate, it is recommended you use 1/2 to 1 tsp of espresso powder.  Since this recipe called for chocolate syrup, which I didn't have, I substituted with the coffee flavor syrup.  You don't taste the coffee flavoring at all.
  • Instead of butter, substitute either butter-flavored Crisco or butter-flavored Spectrum.  Believe it or not, neither one contains trans fat.  Then, I compared Land O' Lakes margarine which contains 80% vegetable oil.  Good grief, it contains 2g of trans fat.  Bye-bye Land O' Lakes.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Quick & Easy: Szechwan Pork Stir-Fry over Spinach

I love being able to take a butter-fly pork chop and turn it into this!

Serves - 2
Preparation Time - 10 minutes
Cook Time - 12-15 minutes

2 tsp sesame oil, divided
3/4 cup matchstick-size carrot strips
8 oz pork tenderloin, thinly sliced, slived halved
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp minced bottled or fresh ginger
1/4 to 1/2 tsp red pepper flatkes
1 Tblspn reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tblspn mirin* or dry sherry
2 tsp cornstarch
8 oz baby spinach
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

*Mirin, a sweet wine made from rice, is an essential flavoring in Japanese cuisine.  It is available in Asian markets and the Asian or gourmet section of some supermarkets.

1.  Heat 1 tsp oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add carrot strips.  Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add pork, garlic, ginger and pepper flakes to taste.  Stir-fry 3 minutes or until pork is no longer pink.  Combine soy sauce, mirin and cornstarch in small bowl.  Add to pork mixture.  Stir-fry 1 minute or until sauce thickens.

2.  Heat remaining 1 tsp oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add spinach.  Cover and cook 1 minute.  Uncover and turn spinach with tongs.  Cover and cook until spinach is barely wilted, about 1 minute.  Transfer spinach to 2 serving plates.  Spoon pork mixture over spinach.  Top with sesame seeds.

Exchanges: 2 vegetables / 3-1/2 lean meat
Calories - 256                         Sodium - 466mg
   Calories from Fat - 35%     Total Carb - 11g   w/net carb - 8g
Total Fat - 10g                           Dietary Fiber - 3g
   Saturated Fat - 2g                   Sugar - [not listed - but negligible from carrots & either wine ]
Cholesterol - 73mg                  Protein - 29g

Source: Diabetic Cooking, 3 Books in 1 - Snacks, Main Dishes, Desserts, Publications International, Ltd.

Review/Suggestions:
  • Don't attempt using a wok.  It cooks too hot and the sauce will immediately go past thick into a nice tasty clump.
  • I just recently bought sesame oil - but the other times I just used regular cooking oil.
  • To make this even easier, you can go with minced garlic from a jar.  It works when you don't have any fresh garlic.
  • Baby carrots also make it quick and easy to cut into matchstick size.
  • And if the other person opts out for spinach, there's always sticky rice (but only if you don't have to watch the carbs).

Cinnamon-Raisin Rolls


Talk about ultimate sweet comfort dessert!  And yes, they really are from a diabetic cookbook.  If you're not big on adding the raisins and walnuts, leave them out.  As you can see, I made a half and half batch.

Yields - 16 servings
Preparation Time - depends if using a bread machine or hand mixing dough
Cooking Time - 12 minutes

1 recipe Whole-Wheat Sweet Dough*

FILLING:
1 Tblspn margarine or butter
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon  [this is not enough - go with at least 1tsp, or 1-1/2 tsp]
Sugar substitute equal to 2 Tblspn sugar
2 Tblspn maple syrup [I used sugar-free]
1/4 cup dark raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

GLAZE:
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp nonfat or low-fat milk
1/8 tsp vanilla extract

1.  Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 12 x 16 inch rectangle.

2.  Combine the margarine and cinnamon and stir to mix.  Stir in the sugar substitute, then slowly stir in the maple syrup.  Spread the mixture over the dough and scatter the raisins and walnuts over the top.  Roll the dough up jelly-roll style, beginning at the long end.  Cut the roll into 16 slices, each slight less than an inch thick.

3.  Coat a 9 x 13 inch pan or two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and place the rolls in the pan, with the cut sides up, spacing them evenly apart.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

4.  Bake at 350ºF for 12 minutes or until lightly browned and no longer doughy in the center.  Cover loosely with aluminum foil during the last part of the baking if the ring starts to brown to quickly.

5.  To make the glaze, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until smooth.  Drizzle over the warm rolls.  Serve warm.

*Whole-Wheat Sweet Dough (yields about 3/4 lb or 12 servings)

1-1/3 cup unbleached flour
2/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3 Tblspn sugar
Sugar-substitute equal to 3 Tblspn sugar
1 packet (1/4 oz) rapid rise yeast (about 2 tsp)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup plus 2 Tblspn nonfat or low-fat milk
1/4 cup fat-free egg substitute
2 Tblspn margarine or butter

1.  Place all of the ingredients except for 2 Tblspn of the unbleached flour in the pan of a bread machine.  Turn the machine to the "rise," "dough," "manual," or equivalent setting so the machine will mix, knead, and let the dough rise once.

2.  Check the dough about 3 minutes after the machine has started.  If the dough seems too sticky, add more of the remaining flour, a tablespoon at a time.  When the dough is ready, remove it from the machine and proceed to shape, fill and bake it as directed in the recipe of your choice.

***************        Variation: Hand-Mixing Method   **************

If you don't own a bread machine, you can make this dough using the following steps:

1.  Combine all of the whole-wehat flour, sugar, sugar substitute, yeast, and salt, and stir to mix well.

2.  Heat the milk and margarine or butter until very warm (130ºF) and gradually stir into the flour mixture.  Stir for 1 minute and then stir in the egg substitute.  Stir in the unbleached flour, 2 Tblspn at a time, until the dough is too stiff to continue mixing by hand.

3.  Turn the dough on to a floured surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes, gradually incorporating enough of the remaining unbleached flour to form a smooth, satiny ball.

4.  Coat a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl.  Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.  Then proceed to shape, fill and bake the dough according to recipe directions.


Exchanges: 1 carb /  1/2 fat (per roll)
Calories - 109                             Sodium - 65mg
Total Fat - 2.9g                          Total carb - 19g   w/net carb - 17.9g
    Saturated Fat - 0.4g                   Dietary Fiber - 1.1g
Calcium - 13mg                             Sugar - [unfortunately this was not listed]
Cholesterol - 0mg                        Protein - 2.8g

Source: Diabetic Dream Desserts by Sandra Woodruff, MS., R.D., LD/N

Review/Suggestions:
  • I would definitely go with using the 9" round pans next time so that way they will raise more
  • INCREASE the cinnamon!  I used the Vietnamese cinnamon which is stronger, but with only 1/2 tsp called for, it just wasn't enough - you can barely taste the cinnamon.
  • I warmed up the margarine/cinnamon/sugar substitute/maple syrup so it was a nice liquid consistency making it easier to spread over the dough.
  • I did half with no raisins/nuts and the other side with.  Both are good, so it's entirely up to you.
  • A friend recommended using currants in place of raisins since they are good for your heart.  Next time, I'll give it a try.
  • I think of cinnamon rolls having a thick white glaze.  Unless you have clear vanilla, your glaze is going to look a very light brown color.  Since that's not what I wanted, I skipped the vanilla.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Scallops au Gratin

It is rich and creamy without even using heavy cream or lots of fat.

Serves - 4  /  Serving Size - 1/4 of recipe
Preparation Time -  25 minutes (approx)
Cooking Time - 12-15 minutes

Canola cooking spray
2 tsp cornstarch
2 Tblspn water
1 tsp margarine
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 pound bay scallops, cleaned
1/4 tsp dried tarragon
2 Tblspn dry white wine
1/3 cup evaporated nonfat milk
1-1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tblspn shredded reduced-fat Jarlsberg cheese
1/4 cup dry plain bread crumbs
2 tsp grated Romano cheese
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 Tblspn chopped fresh parsley, or 1 tsp dried parsley flakes

1.  Preheat oven 400ºF.

2.  In a small bowl, combine the constarch and water and stir until smooth.

3.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Away from the heat source, spray with the cooking spray.  Return to the heat and add the margarine.  Add the shallots and sauté for 1 minute.  Add the scallops and tarragon and sauté for 4 minutes, or until the scallops become somewhat firm to the touch.  Remove the scallops to a bowl and set aside.

4.  To the same skillet, add the white whine, evaporated milk, and mustard and bring to a simmer.  Slowly stir in the cornstarch mixture and continue to cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the Jarlsberg cheese until it melts.  Return the scallops to the skillet and stir so that they are well coated.

5.  Combine the bread crumbs, Romano cheese and black pepper in a small bowl.

6.  Divide the scallop mixture evenly among 4 1-cup oven-proof au gratin dishes, or pour the entire mixture into a 1-quart oven-proof dish.  Sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the crumbs turn golden and the liquid bubbles.

7.  To serve, place each individual au gratin dish on a dinner plate and sprinkle with parsley.  If you used on large baking dish, divide the scallops among 4 dinner plates and top each with parsley.

Exchanges: 2 Medium-fat meat / 1 fat-free milk
Calories - 258                              Sodium - 419mg
Total Fat - 6.2g                           Total carb - 15.1g    w/ net carb - 14.5g
   Saturated Fat - 2.8g                      Dietary Fiber - 0.6g
   Monounsat Fat - 1.8 g                  Sugar - 3.2g
   Polyunsat Fat - 0.9g                   Protein - 32.6g
Cholesterol - 52mg                        Starches - 1.5g

Source: The Diabetic Gourmet Cookbook by the Editors of Diabetic Gourmet Magazine

Review/Suggestions:

  • Ok, I finally broke down and bought dry white wine, along with half of the other ingredients I did not have: tarragon, Jarlsberg, Romano cheese, evap milk and scallops.  Well, on the bright side, I now have the majority of the items to make this again.
  • The great debate: I thought it tasted good with the additional amount of Jarlsberg, but my boyfriend felt it overpowered the other flavors.
  • When the recipe said to use 1-cup au gratin dishes, my first thought was to fill the au gratin dish with 1 cup of the mixture.  Wrong!  I soon realized that dividing this mixture evenly meant a heaping 1/2 cup.  If you have ravenous eaters who haven't adjusted to health-conscious portions, be prepared.
  • If you are going to prepare rice to accompany this dish, start it first or else you and the scallops will be left waiting.




Thursday, February 2, 2012

Quick & Easy: Southwestern Lasagna


Talk about a twist on your typical lasagna.  I may never go back to having traditional lasagna again!

Serves - 10  /  Serving Size - 1 piece
Preparation Time - 30 minutes
Cooking Time - 25-30 minutes

1 pound 95% lean ground beef
1 tsp minced garlic
1 (16-oz) jar salsa
1-1/4 cups enchilada sauce
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
1 large egg white, beaten
6 (6-inch) flour tortillas, cut into thirds
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2.  In a large nonstick skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, brown the beef and garlic over medium heat for about 8 minutes or until the beef is done.  Drain any excess fat.  Add the salsa, enchilada sauce, and salt and pepper (if using).  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

3.  In a small bowl, combine the cottage cheese and egg white.  Coat a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

4.  Spread a think layer of meat sauce in the dish.  Layer with half the tortillas, all of the cottage cheese mixture, half the remaining meat mixture, and half the cheese.  Repeat layers, omitting the cottage cheese layer and ending with the meat sauce.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.  Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Exchange: 1 starch / 2 lean meat
Calories - 193                           Sodium - 597mg
   Calories from Fat - 51          Total carb - 17g   w/net carb - 16g
Total Fat - 6g                               Dietary Fiber - 1g
   Saturated Fat - 2g                      Sugar - 4 g
Cholesterol - 32 mg                   Protein - 18g

Source:  Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking

Review/Suggestions:
  • You can choose just how spicy or mild you want this dish to be.  I went with the medium salsa.
  • Even with the 6-inch tortillas, check the amount of carbs per tortilla.  The ones I checked ranged from 15g all the way up to 22g per tortilla.  Ole brand 6-inch tortillas are only 15g total carb per tortilla - net carb 13g.  These actually taste good versus some of the low carb tortillas I've tried in the past.
  • I had a 9 x 13 x 2 dish (hey, the dimensions are just in a different direction, but it all comes out the same in the end).
  • At first I wasn't sure the ingredients would be enough to cover the size dish, as I had to spread it out pretty thin.  Of course, not remembering that as it cooks, the ingredients fills in all those sparse areas in the entire casserole dish.
  • Leftovers?  Freeze well and just as good, if not better the second time around!




Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Topless Apple Pie

Even though this looks more like a tart, it's still yummy!

Serves - 10  /  Serving Size - 1 slice
Preparation Time - 30 minutes
Cooking Time - 20-25 minutes

1 cup plus 2 Tblspn all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tblspn butter, melted
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup sugar-free apricot preserves
2 Tblspn light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tart baking apples, peeled and thinly sliced

1.  Preheat oven to 425ºF.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour and sugar.  Slowly add the oil, mixing with a fork until crumbly.  In a small bowl, combine the vanilla, butter and milk.

3.  Add the milk mixture gradually to the flour mixture, mixing with a fork until the dough stays together and forms a ball.  Place the ball of dough on wax paper and roll out into a thin crust to form a large circle, using flour to keep the dough from sticking

4.  Transfer the dough to a 10-tart pan or pie plate coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Spread the apricot preserves carefully over the crust.  In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon.

5.  Sprinkle half of the cinnamon mixture over the apricot preserves.  Arrange the apple slices on top and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon mixture.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the apples are tender.  Serve warm.

Exchanges:  1-1/2 carb / 1-1/2 fat
Calories - 144                       Sodium - 13mg
   Calories from Fat - 61      Total carb - 20g  w/net carb - 19g
Total Fat - 7g                          Dietary Fiber - 1g
   Saturated Fat - 1g                Sugar - 6g
Cholesterol - 3mg                 Protein - 2g

Source: Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking

Review/Suggestions: 
  • Didn't have apricot preserves, but did have Orange Marmalade.  Added a nice zest to the apples. 
  • Used Benecol for the butter.  Next time going to use the Land O' Lakes margarine w/80% vegetable oil as the crust didn't puff up much.
  • Not sure if a combination of using the marmalade and Benecol made the difference in the crust being really, really hard.  This recipe does mention serving while warm - which I'm sure the crust would be softer.  Don't get me wrong, the crust was still good but just hard.