Posted in Bake, Dessert, Fruits, Sauces, Tips/Hints

Healthy desserts…

Most desserts get a bad reputation because they are made of a lot of butter, sugar and other stuff that is usually a “no no” when we are trying to watch what we eat.  But let’s face it, if you’re like me where dessert is the favorite course of a meal, it’s hard to just say no every day.  Here is something that I made today that at least includes fruit and oatmeal and is “Delicious & Light”.

Happy Baking!!

Dark Cherry Bars

Serves 12

Preheat oven 350o

Filling Ingredients:

1 – 16 ounce bag of frozen dark pitted cherries – defrosted

¼ cup Chambord (raspberry liquor)

¼ cup cornstarch

¼ cup sugar

Topping and Crust:

1 cup flour

1 cup oatmeal

2/3 cup brown sugar

½ cup low calorie butter spread

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon baking soda

Filling Directions:

  1. Place pitted cherries into a food processor and puree until chunky.
  2. In a saucepot, stir in Chambord with cornstarch.  Add cherries and sugar and cook until thick and bubbly (about 10 minutes).  Mixture should be about as thick as a fruit preserve.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Prepare crust and topping: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon and baking soda and stir until combined.
  4. Add melted butter spread and stir until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. Spray a 9 X 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Press half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of the baking pan, Spoon the filling on top then add the remaining oatmeal mixture on top.
  6. Bake for about 35 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool then cut into 12 squares and serve.
Posted in Roasted, Side Dishes, Vegetables

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Smoked Ham

These poor vegetables get such a bad wrap and I think it’s because of the way they are usually prepared.  Even if you know you don’t like Brussels sprouts, try this recipe, it may just change your mind.  I served this for 5 people tonight and had no leftovers.

Enjoy your veggies!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Smoked Ham

Serves 6

Preheat oven 425o

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Estimated values per serving:

Calories = 93                        Fat = .5 grams                       Points: 2


2 pounds Brussels sprouts – cleaned of outer leaves and cut in half

6 ounces smoked ham steak – diced

2 tablespoons apple jelly

2 tablespoons maple syrup


  1. Boil water in a large skillet and add brussel sprouts.  Boil for 1 minute, drain and spread onto a baking pan coated with cooking spray.
  2. Roast Brussels sprouts in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes until browned.
  3. While Brussels sprouts are roasting.  Heat skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add ham and sauté for 5 – 7 minutes until browned.  Remove from heat and place in serving bowl.
  4. Remove Brussels sprouts from the oven and add to ham.
  5. In a small bowl, combine apple jelly and maple syrup and microwave for about 30 seconds until apple jelly has melted.  Add to cooked ham and brussel sprouts and toss.
Posted in Fish, Sauces, Shrimp


This is a great healthy recipe that is so easy to prepare.  I was rushing around last week and needed an idea for dinner.  I had frozen shrimp, scallops and sea bass and remembered my bouillabaisse recipe that never fails.  All I had to do was stop for the clams and I had a complete meal.  Because of my limited time, I cooked the sauce in advance then just heated it up 15 minutes before dinner and added the fish.  You can easily substitute any fish of your liking as well.

Sorry for not having a picture, I was really busy.




Serves 6

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 300                        Fat: 2.5 grams

Sauce ingredients:

Olive oil cooking Spray

1 leek, chopped

½ onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons flour

1 bottle of clam juice (8 ounces)

½ cup white wine

2 cups fat free chicken broth

1 cup diced tomatoes (can be canned)

½ teaspoon saffron

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1.    Heat deep sauté pan on medium low heat and spray with cooking spray.  Sauté onions and leeks until soft.  Add garlic and flour and sauté for an additional minute.

2.    Add clam juice and raise heat to medium.  Let come to a boil and add wine, chicken stock and tomatoes.  Cook until it comes back up to a boil.

3.    Lower heat to a simmer and add saffron, parsley, thyme and pepper.

4.    Simmer for 1 hour (covered).


1 pound fillet fish (i.e. tilapia, cod, sole)

1 pound scallops

1 pound shrimp – deveined, shelled and tails off

1 dozen clams


1.    Add fish fillet cook for 5 – 7 minutes, add shrimp, scallops and clams and cook until clams have opened, the shrimp have turned pink and scallops are firm, about 5 minutes.

Serve with rice.


Posted in Saute`, Vegetables

Garden Vegetables

Our dinner tonight is a classic Italian recipe that makes good use of our garden vegetables.  Giambotta is classically made with potatoes and I have included them in the recipe below.  However, you may notice that the picture is showing a vegetable stew over pasta.  This is because we did not have any potatoes in the house so I substituted with 8 ounces of penne.  You can do the same if you prefer. 

This is always a vegetarian meal but if your family likes to include meat at, this is a great accompaniment on top of grilled chicken breasts.



Italian Vegetables Stew (Giambotta)

Serves 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving (without bread and cheese):

Calories: 80                           Fat:  trace                               Points: 1


1 large onion – chopped

1 bell pepper (green or red) – chopped

2 cloves garlic – minced

1 large (or 2 medium) zucchini – cut into 1 inch pieces

1 cup white wine

½ pound string beans

2 cans (28-ounces each) diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons fresh basil – chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

2 potatoes – diced


  1. Heat a large saucepot on medium heat, spray with cooking spray and add onion.  Sauté onion for about 5 minutes until soft.  Add pepper and sauté.  Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  2. Add zucchini, wine and string beans and sauté for 5 minutes. 
  3. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano and salt and pepper, cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add potatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes longer or until potatoes are soft.
  5. Serve with Italian bread and parmesan cheese on the side.
Posted in Dessert, Fruits

Strawberry Cups with Vanilla Fluff Topping

Strawberry Cups with Vanilla Fluff Topping

Strawberry Cups With Vanilla Topping

Serves 10

 Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 110                        Fat: trace                                Points: 1


2 pounds strawberries – cut up

2/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup water

2 tablespoons brandy

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Vanilla Fluff Topping Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

2 egg whites at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

10 4-ounce dessert cups


  1. Make strawberry filling: Measure 1 cup of the strawberries and combine with brandy and water.  Puree in food processor.  Pour into a measuring cup and add enough water to equal 1 ½ cup liquid.
  2. Pour strawberry mixture into a saucepot, add sugar and cornstarch and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly and thickened.  Cook an additional 2 minutes while stirring.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes (do not stir).
  4. Pour strawberry sauce on top of the remaining strawberries and gently toss together. 
  5. Place in the refrigerator to cool.
  6. Make vanilla fluff topping: Combine sugar, water and cream of tartar in a saucepot.  Cook on medium heat until bubbly and the sugar dissolves.
  7. In a mixer, combine egg whites and vanilla and beat on high speed.  Slowly pour sugar mixture while beating the egg whites.  Beat for about 5 – 7 minutes until stiff peaks form.
  8. Assembly: Spoon strawberry filling into each cup to about ¾ full (leaving room for the topping).
  9. Spoon filing into a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip.  Squeeze vanilla fluff topping on top of each strawberry cup.

10. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Posted in Salads, Vegetables

Broccoli-Bacon Salad

Broccoli Bacon salad

Serves 8

Prep time: 10minutes

Refrigeration time: 3 hours or overnight

Estimated Values per Serving

Calories: 111                        Fat:  4 grams                         Points: 2


6 cups small broccoli florets – coarsely chopped

½ cup raisins – coarsely chopped

4 slices turkey bacon – cooked and crumbled

3 scallions – sliced

2/3 cup low calorie mayonnaise

¼ cup honey


  1. In a serving bowl, combine broccoli, raisins, bacon and scallions.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and honey.
  3. Add mayonnaise mixture to broccoli mixture and toss together. 
  4. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight and serve cold.
Posted in Casserole, Side Dishes, Vegetables

Getting Back…

It’s been a while but we are finally home from traveling and have completed our holiday entertaining.  When we returned home from our travels, we saw that the green beans in our garden had overgrown.  To make them tender, I stewed the green beans in tomatoes.  Otherwise, they are too chewy.  Here is the recipe:

Italian Style Green Beans

Serves 6

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes

Preheat oven 325o

Estimated Values per serving:

Calories: 70                           Fat: trace                                Points: 1


2 pounds green beans – ends removed

2 cloves garlic – minced

1 onion – chopped

¼ cup white wine

1 can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil


  1. Cut green beans into 1-inch pieces and set aside in a bowl.
  2. Heat a skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes until slightly browned and softened.  Add garlic and sauté an additional minute.  Transfer onions and garlic into a Dutch oven.  Stir in white wine, tomatoes, green beans, oregano and basil.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes until green beans are tender.
  4. Serve hot.
Posted in Where it all began

Where it all began!

My story begins 2 1/2 years ago with my son Nicholas. At the age of 3, Nick measured 37″ tall and weighed 47 pounds. For anyone who might not be familiar with children’s sizes, he was considered average height but off the charts heavy. As a mom, I panicked, cried and worried over what was going wrong. From then I decided to take action. For the last 3 1/2 years, I have been monitoring his eating at home and anywhere else. He now eats an average of about 1200 calories a day and, at his 5th birthday checkup, measured 43″ tall and weighed 53 pounds. Although he is at the top of the chart in weight, at least he’s now on the chart.

Over the last few years, one of the things I have developed a love for is low fat/reduced calorie cooking. This is where our story begins together. I want to share my experiences and recipes with you. I want to share my experiences in preparing dinners, organizing get together with friends and/or eat out to help anyone who is interested in eating delicious meals with less calories and fat.

I promise to share the honest opinions from my family and friends on anything I prepare. Sometimes I take an existing recipe and modify it to cut out the fat and sometimes I just make it up as I go along. I have been documenting my cooking for about a year and already have over 150 recipes.

I hope you join me in this journey so I can help you as well as learn from your feedback. Welcome and let’s get cooking!