Posted in Quick Breads

Irish Soda Bread


I am sorry that I am late with these recipes.  I baked 4 soda breads to see what would work.  I started last night but didn’t get it until later this afternoon.  Anyway, if you like these, you can use them for next year.  You can also shape them into individual sized servings and serve them on a weekend as sweet biscuits any time of the year.

We had company tonight for dinner and I asked everyone to take a taste test.  It seems that the recipe with the sour cream was more favored.  However, they liked the whole wheat ones as well, so both might be worth trying.

Enjoy and Happy baking…

Irish Soda Bread

Serves 12

Prep time: 10 minutes

Bake time: 45 minutes

Preheat oven 375o

Ingredients:

3 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoons baking soda

½ cup sugar

1 cup raisins

2 cups fat free sour cream

2 tablespoons reduced calorie butter spread – melted

¼ cup egg substitute

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  Stir in sugar.
  2. Add raisins and stir.
  3. Add sour cream and mix well.  Add butter spread and egg substitute and mix.
  4. Turn onto a floured board.
  5. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  6. Shape dough into an 8-inch round and place on baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes.

 Calories & Fat Per Serving (estimated):

Calories = 152                                              Fat = 1.43

Irish Soda Bread

Serves 12

Prep time: 10 minutes

Bake time: 45 minutes

Preheat oven 350o

Ingredients:

2 cups white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

½ cup raisins

2 teaspoons caraway seeds (optional)

1 ½ cups low fat buttermilk

¼ cup low calorie butter spread

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift together both flours, baking soda and salt.  Stir in sugar.
  2. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds (if using).
  3. Stir in buttermilk and butter spread.
  4. Spray a cake pan with cooking spray and spoon batter into cake pan.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes.

Calories & Fat Per Serving (estimated):

Calories = 177                                              Fat = 2.5

Posted in Vegetables

A taste of something familiar with a twist…


Spaghetti squash is one of those vegetables that a lot of people say “what can I possibly do with this weird thing?”  Let me change your mind on this one.  Dean, my husband, was on the South Beach diet years ago when we stumbled on this recipe as part of his diet plan.  I’ve made some modifications to the original to suit our taste but the basic idea is there. Spaghetti squash has such little flavor that when you cook this dish, it really tastes like you are eating pizza flavor without the crust. This recipe also tends to be kid friendly because of the flavor it offers.  Best of all, it’s a vegetable which means it’s good for you too.

Check it out…and happy vegging!

“Pizza” Spaghetti Squash

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 Spaghetti squash

2 – 3 cups vegetable broth

2 cloves garlic – minced

1 cup crushed tomatoes – from a can

½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Prep & cook time: 30 minutes

Directions:

  1. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.  Place cut sides down in a large skillet.  Pour enough vegetable broth into skillet so that it comes up by about 1 inch from the bottom.  Cover skillet and set stovetop to high until broth comes to a boil.  Reduce heat and allow squash to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until the squash is soft when you press down on the skin.
  2. Remove squash from skillet and set aside to cool.  Discard vegetable broth.
  3. Heat skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add garlic to skillet and sauté for about 1 minute.  Add crushed tomatoes and Italian seasoning, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 – 10 minutes (just to let the seasonings cook into the tomatoes).
  4. When spaghetti squash is cool enough to handles, pick up one side and scrape the inside with a fork into the tomato mixture.  The spaghetti squash shreds like spaghetti (thus the name).  Continue shredding until you are just left with the skin; discard the skin.  Continue with the other half of the squash.
  5. Heat for another 5 minutes to warm the dish.
  6. Remove from heat, stir in parmesan cheese and serve.

Per Serving (estimated):

Calories = 71                                                Fat = 1

Posted in Tips/Hints

Two great suggestions…


I apologize and haveforgotten to include prep and cook time and will start providing that again.  Also, someone asked about offering the calorie and fat gram information on the dishes, I will begin doing that as well.  Tomorrow I hope to have all of the information as well as the recipes.  If I forget, just send a kind reminder and will follow-up with it.

Thanks for the feedback!!

Posted in Cooking Styles/Techniques, Creamed, Side Dishes, Vegetables

An old Comfort Food Side reborn


I think creamed spinach gets a bad wrap because we remember all too well the mushy stuff that was served out of the freezer and heated in the microwave or stovetop.  However, when made with fresh spinach and a homemade sauce, it goes from gloppy to glorious.  Try it out; it’s an easy recipe that is worth revisiting again.  And since it’s low fat, it comes guilt free too.

PS: Spinach is really good for you too.

Creamed Spinach

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Cooking spray

1 (10-ounce) bag of baby spinach

½ onion – chopped

½ cup skim milk

½ tablespoon cornstarch

¼ teaspoon salt

Pinch of nutmeg

¼ cup (2 ounces) fat free cream cheese in the tub

Directions:

  1. Heat non-stick sauté pan on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Sauté spinach for about 5 minutes until wilted.  Remove spinach and set over a colander to drain any excess water.
  2. Keeping the heat on medium, add onion and sauté for 5 minutes until onion is soft.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, mix milk and cornstarch and add to onion mixture along with salt, nutmeg and cream cheese.  Stir until cream cheese is melted and milk mixture is thickened.  Add spinach and serve.
Posted in Dessert

Buttermilk Custard Pie with Caramel Sauce


Last Saturday night I went to a fantastic restaurant in Brooklyn.  For dessert, I ordered the buttermilk pie.  Having created a low fat recipe for it earlier this year, I just had to try theirs.  I was a little disapointed with the restaurant’s version because of the dry texture and remembered that mine was a more creamy, custard like version. So I set out this evening and baked my version to see if it was what I remembered or if it really is a drier pie. 

My version of this recipe came out exactly as I remembered and it baked more like a sweet custard pie.  There is nothing wrong with the restaurant’s version and it went very well with a cup of coffee.  However, if your taste in dessert is more like mine and prefer a sweeter, more creamy version, check this out…

PS – I renamed it Buttermilk Custard Pie so there is no confusion about the texture.

Happy Baking!!

 Buttermilk Custard Pie with Caramel Sauce

Serves 10

Preheat oven to 350o

Pie Ingredients:

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

¼ cup low calorie butter spread – melted

3 cups low fat buttermilk

2 cups egg substitute

2 cups sugar

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons vanilla

½ cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

Caramel sauce (recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Mix together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter spread.  Spray a 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray and press crumb mixture on bottom and sides of pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg substitute, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla.
  3. In separate bowl, combine flour and salt.
  4. Slowly add flour mixture in with buttermilk mixture while beating.  Beat mixture for 1 minute until all the ingredients are well combined.
  5. Pass Pie mixture through a colander into pie shell to remove any clumps.
  6. Bake pie for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  7. Refrigerate pie for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  8. Serve with caramel sauce (recipe below).

Caramel Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

¼ cup water

½ cup fat free half and half

Directions:

  1.  In a saucepan, cook the sugar in the water over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. 
  2. Raise the heat to moderately high and cook without stirring until a medium amber caramel forms. 
  3. Remove from heat and carefully pour in the half and half into thecaramel, continuously stirring until smooth.  Transfer to a heat proof bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Serve the pie cooled with room temperature caramel sauce
Posted in Main Courses, Poultry, Sauces

Quick and Easy Sauce


We went out for a quick bite to eat tonight so I don’t have a “today” recipe but last Sunday I cooked a mushroom sauce on  top of grilled chicken breast that you may be interested in trying…Enjoy.

White Wine Mushroom Sauce

Serves 6

Ingredients:

6 ounces white mushrooms – sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 clove garlic – minced

¼ cup sherry

½ cup white wine

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup low fat chicken broth

1 teaspoon marjoram

½ teaspoon thyme

¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning

2 tablespoons fat free half and half

1 tablespoon low calorie butter spread

Directions:

  1. Heat large skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add mushrooms, giving enough room in the pan so that they do not overlap (you may have to work in two patches).  Sauté mushrooms until browned (about 10 minutes), season with salt and pepper.  Add garlic, sauté for 1 minute, add sherry and wine and simmer until liquid is reduced to a quarter of the amount.  Remove mushroom mixture and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour and chicken broth and simmer until bubbly and thickened.
  3. Add back mushroom mixture and simmer for 2 – 3 minutes or well combined.  Add half and half and simmer for another minute (do not let the half and half boil).
  4. Remove from heat and stir in butter spread.
  5. Serve with poultry.
Posted in Poultry

A twist on “Sausage and Peppers”


My husband loves sautéed sausage and peppers served with Italian bread.  The problem is sausage is high in fat.  So I thought would be fun tonight to serve something that is very low fat but offers the same flavor.  I came up with sautéed chicken tenders, peppers and onions with the flavorings of Italian sausage.  It was a big hit; the official comment was “you nailed it”.  So, if you are looking for a low fat alternative to the sausage & pepper dish, try this out.

Happy Sautéing!!

Chicken “Sausage” and Peppers

Serves 4

Prep & cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

1 – 1 ½ pounds chicken tenders

2 – 3 tablespoons + ¼ cup fat free chicken broth separated

½ teaspoon fennel seed

½ teaspoon coriander seed

½ teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon onion powder

Salt and pepper to taste

1 red bell pepper – cut into ½ by 2 – inch slices

1 green bell pepper– cut into ½ by 2 – inch slices

1 large sweet white onion– cut into ½ by 2 – inch slices

Italian bread for serving

Directions:

  1. Grind together fennel seed, coriander seed and parsley in a mortar and pestle.  Add onion powder to the mixture then season chicken tenders with the spices.
  2. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add chicken tenders and sauté for 5 – 7 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
  3. Remove chicken tenders from skillet and add about 2 tablespoons of the chicken broth, scraping any pieces off of the bottom of the pan.  Add onions, reduce heat to medium low, cover, then cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add green and red peppers to skillet with the onions and sauté another 5 minutes until softened and browned.
  5. Add chicken tenders and chicken broth if the vegetables are sticking to the pan, season with salt and pepper , and simmer on low heat,  for about another 2 minutes until chicken is heated.

Serve with Italian Bread on the side.

Posted in Pasta dish, Poultry

Light and Easy…


We thought we might go out to eat tonight but plans were changed and I had to decide the last hour what we were having.  I decided to do something easy since time was running out.  Pasta dishes are great meals to make when you are pressed for time or haven’t planned in advance.  So tonight we had Chicken and pasta with Spinach.

Chicken and Pasta with Spinach

Serves 4

Preheat oven 425o

Prep and cook time 25 minutes

Ingredients:

2 garlic cloves – peeled but left whole

½ box rigatoni pasta

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – cut into bite sized pieces

¼ cup scallions, green parts only – chopped

2 tablespoons fresh parsley – minced

½ cup white wine

1 ½ cup fat free chicken broth

1 tablespoon cornstarch

½ pound fresh baby spinach leave – coarsely chopped

¼ cup parmesan cheese – grated

Directions:

  1. Wrap garlic cloves in aluminum foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes.  When done, mash roasted garlic with the back of the spoon and set aside to combine with chicken broth.
  2. Boil water and cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain pasta and set aside.
  3. Heat large skillet on medium high heat, spray with cooking spray and add chicken.  Sauté for about 10 minutes or until chicken is browned and cooked.  Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
  4. Add scallions and sauté for about 2 minutes.  Add wine and parsley, scarping any bits from the bottom of the skillet.  Cook wine mixture for about 5 minutes or until reduced by half. 
  5. In a small bowl, mix together chicken broth, corn starch and garlic.  Add to skillet, stirring until thickened and bubbly.  Add pasta, chicken and spinach to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove skillet from heat, toss in cheese and spoon onto serving platter.
Posted in Tips/Hints

Bring it on…


If anyone out there has an already Delicious & Light recipe they would like to share or a recipe that they would like to have lightened up, I’d love to hear form you.  Just send your original recipe and I’ll try it out.  Or, if you have a recipe that you love but is just to fattening, I’d love to try to lighten it up.

Lets’ get cooking!

Posted in Beef, Grilling, Main Courses, Poultry, Sauces, Tips/Hints, Vegetables

Turkey/Beef Burger Twist…


Tonight Dean made dinner.  He grilled hamburgers and sautéed string beans.  To keep the hamburgers light and delicious, I combine half of the burger meat with 93% lean ground beef and turkey breast meat.  I emphasize the breast in the turkey meat because it only has 1 gram of fat per serving, unlike just ground turkey meat which has about 10 grams of fat per serving.  Combining the two types of meat gives you a tasty yet lighter burger.

To make the burgers a little more interesting, I cooked onions and ketchup sauce as a topping to the burgers.  It’s a little tastier than just ketchup and doesn’t add any fat to the dish.  Try it out…

Onion and Ketchup Sauce

Prep and cook time: 45 minutes

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:

1 large sweet onion – thinly sliced

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup ketchup

3 – 4 drops Chipotle sauce

Directions:

  1. Heat a saucepot on medium low heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add onions, cover, and cook slowly for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  (TIP: if the onions stick to the bottom, add a little water and stir).
  2. Add sugar and Worcestershire sauce and cook, uncovered, for about 2 minutes until liquid reduces to ½.
  3. Add ketchup and Chipotle sauce, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and serve room temperature with burgers or meat.