Thursday, November 16, 2006

Almost Instant Oatmeal

Perfect to keep in the pantry--cheaper and more environmentally friendly than those tiny packets of instant oatmeal and just as convenient.

Apple and Cinnamon Oatmeal Mix

In a large bowl combine:

6 cups quick-cooking oats
1-1/3 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup dried apples, diced
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Mix well and store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to six months.
Yield: about 8 cups total

To prepare: Shake mix well. In a large microwave-safe bowl mix 1/2 cup oatmeal and 3/4 cup water. Cook on HIGH 3 minutes, stirring every minute. (or do what I do and prepare cereal in an 8-cup glass measuring cup--I find that the the cup is deep enough that even 2 servings of oatmeal cooked at a time don't boil over)

Flavour variations: Change the oatmeal by substituting different dried fruits and spices. To make cream flavours substitute nondairy powdered coffee creamer for some of the skim milk powder.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

More Chocolate???

This is a cross between a warm pudding and souffle. Eat it with a spoon right out of the pan, serve warm with really good vanilla ice cream or use as a decadent fruit dip. My favourite way is to eat right out of the pan!!

Chocolate Stuff


2 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 stick of butter
2 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
nuts (optional)


1. Beat two eggs with a cup of sugar and a half cup of flour.

2. Melt a stick of butter with two tablespoons of cocoa.

3. Mix the two and add 1 full teaspoon of vanilla. Add nuts if you want.

4. Put in a loaf pan then set loaf pan in bigger pan of water and cook at 300 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Salty, Chocolatey, Sweet

3-Point Chocolate Popcorn

Take 3 cups air-popped popcorn (1 pt)
melt one Cadbury 100-cal Thin bar(2 pts) with 1 tablespoon fat-free creamer (0 pt) drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn and add a teeny shake of salt (bigger if you are PMSy and crave the salty and the sweet).


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

This is what Heaven tastes like

Double Chocolate Cheesecake on a Brownie Crust
Spray a 10-inch springform pan with non-stick spray. Prepare 1 box low-fat brownie mix according to package directions. Bake in the springform pan instead of regular cake pan. Brownies should bake in around 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and reset temperature to 325 F. Set brownie crust aside while you prepare filling.

2 cups 1% cottage cheese
1 cup light sour cream (not fat free)
1-8 oz package light cream cheese, at room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate squares, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup fat-free egg substitute or 4 whole eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Whirl cottage cheese, sour cream and cream cheese in a blender until perfectly smooth. Scrape out mixture into a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, sift together sugar, cocoa powder, and flour. Gradually add sugar mixture to cream cheese mixture and beat on medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add melted chocolate and beat again, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Add egg substitute and vanilla. Beat just until eggs are incorporated in the batter.

Before pouring batter over crust, lightly grease sides of pan to prevent cheesecake from cracking. Pour batter over brownie crust and smooth top. Place on middle oven rack and bake for 60-70 minutes. Cake will be puffed up and center will jiggle slightly when pan is shaken. Turn off oven, open oven door halfway and leave cake in oven to cool for 1 hour. Remove from oven, run knife around edge of pan to loosen cake from sides, and cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (Be patient!!)

Remove sides of pan and slice thinly. Top with chocolate sauce, cherries, strained raspberry puree, whatever your little heart desires.

makes 16 servings
per serving: 291 cal, 9.3g tot. fat, 4.6g sat. fat, 10g prot, 44g carbs, 1.3g fib, 13mg chol, 208mg sod

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Shepherd's Pie Make Over

Shepherd's Pie Makeover

My favourite shepherd's pie by Rachel Ray is a whopping 17 points per serving by my estimation. When you only get 20 points a day to eat, that is too many for one meal. I have managed to whittle the points down to 7 per serving. Hubby could not tell much difference between the taste of the old and new versions, and he takes his shepherd's pie very seriously. Even if you aren't on Weight Watchers, this new version is much healthier and lower in fat and calories.

2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 tablespoons light spreadable cream cheese (herb and garlic flavour adds a nice touch) or light sour cream

½ cup broth or reserved potato cooking water


1-1/4 pounds extra-lean ground beef

½ pound fresh mushrooms, any kind, finely diced

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 tablespoon light butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon beef broth, divided

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

½ cup frozen peas

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain the potatoes, reserving ½ cup water if needed. Pour into a bowl and mash with water or broth and cream cheese until almost smooth.

While potatoes are cooking, spray a large skillet with non-stick spray and preheat over medium high heat. Add beef and mushrooms to pan and season with salt and pepper. Brown mixture for 3-4 minutes. Drain off drippings , if necessary, and add carrots and onions. Cook veggies with meat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. In a second small skillet or saucepan cook butter with flour and 1 tablespoon beef broth for 2 minutes. Whisk in remaining broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. Add gravy to meat and vegetables. Stir in peas.

Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from heat until potatoes are evenly browned. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Estimated points per serving: 12 points in each of 4 very large servings, 7 points in each of 6 generous servings.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Rainy Day Fun

It's threatening to rain today. Time to get out the bean box and whip up a batch of playdough for when we run out of movies.

Smelly Play Dough

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup salt
1/4 oz package of unsweetened fruit flavoured drink mix (like Kool Aid)
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon cooking oil

Combine flour, salt, drink mix and cream of tartar in medium saucepan. Stir in water and cooking oil. Heat and stir until thickened (consistancy should resemble mashed potatoes) Remove from heat. Cool for 5 minutes. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead until dry but pliable. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container (lasts longer if kept in the fridge) Makes 2 cups.

Yummy Playdough
1-16oz container prepared white frosting
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
food colouring

Beat frosting and peanut butter in large bowl until blended. Gradually knead in icing sugar until very stiff. Knead in food colouring. Knead in additional icing sugar if dough is sticky. Makes 3 cups. Store in refrigerator up to 4 weeks.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Never-Fail Rice

This is the way my mom taught me to cook rice and is the only way I can make rice and not have it boil over and make a mess. Don't ask me why, I have tried every trick and I cannot do it. I hate cleaning up boiled-over rice.

1 part rice (1 cup is enough for four side-dish servings)
2 parts water (add a bit extra for brown and wild)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Grease a casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid. Boil the water. Add bouillon powder for extra flavour, or boil some broth. Add rice, salt to taste, a dab of butter and boiling liquid to the casserole dish. Cover and bake. Don't peek!

For white rice--30 to 40 minutes
For brown rice and wild blends--40 to 50 minutes

That is it! Easy and you get a tasty crispy crust around the edges of the pan. The rice simmers and never boils so there is no mess.

Tequila Shrimp

Anther old favourite from Cooking Light magazine. It is a light and summery treat that takes minutes and won't turn your kitchen into a sauna. Skip the rice and serve the shrimp over a salad. If you have the tequila out anyway, don't forget the margaritas!

Tequila Shrimp

1 (3 1/2-ounce) bag boil-in-bag long-grain rice (just make 4 servings of rice)
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic (two fat cloves, minced or use your microplane grater)
1/4 cup tequila
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Lime wedges (essential!)

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
While rice cooks, combine 1/4 teaspoon salt and next 4 ingredients (1/4 teaspoon salt through black pepper) in a large zip-top plastic bag; add shrimp. Seal and shake to coat.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes, turning once. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add tequila and 1 tablespoon cilantro; cook 1 minute.

Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon cilantro, and lime juice; pour over rice, tossing to coat. Serve shrimp over rice mixture. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 4 ounces shrimp and 1/2 cup rice mixture)

CALORIES 419(22% from fat); FAT 10.1g (sat 1.6g,mono 2.1g,poly 5.2g); PROTEIN 37.5g; CHOLESTEROL 259mg; CALCIUM 104mg; SODIUM 548mg; FIBER 0.6g; IRON 4.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 31.5g

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Overnight Oatmeal Muffins

This is a recipe I really like from Cooking Light Magazine. By soaking the oats the muffins get a much lighter texture than other oatmeal muffins.

1 cup regular oats (I use quick oats and the muffins turn out fine)
2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup dried blueberries
Cooking spray (butter flavour, preferably)

  1. Combine oats and buttermilk in a medium bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Place buttermilk/oat mixture and remaining ingredients, minus the blueberries and cooking spray, in a large bowl, mix well. Fold in blueberries.
  4. Spoon approx 1/4 cup batter into each of 24 muffin cups that have been coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in the center. Remove from muffin pans immediately and cool on wire rack.
I have made these with frozen blueberries and they are tasty. Do not thaw before adding to the batter. Chopped apple or mini chocolate chips would be good additions as well as any chopped dried fruit.

Makes 24 muffins
Per muffin: 105 cal; 2.2g fat; 3.1g prot; 19.4g carbs; 1.7g fib;19mg chol; 201g sod
2 points

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Home made pediatric electrolyte replacement.

2 quarts water
1-teaspoon baking soda
1-teaspoon salt
7 Tablespoons sugar
1 packet Sugar-Free Kool-Aid
1/2-teaspoon salt substitute

The salt substitute and Kool-Aid are optional. Store in the refrigerator. Be creative; use your special Kool-Aid to make ice cubes so it will stay cool in their bottle or sippy-cup. Or, insert toothpicks into your ice cubes before freezing and make homemade popsicles.

Note: I used Crystal Light because that is what I have in my pantry and the ingredient list is virtually identical to the Sugar-Free Kool-Aid package.

Another note: If your child is sick enough to need this, Call their doctor--this recipe can in no way be considered replacement for medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional who has actually assessed the patient in person!!!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Lemon cheesecake squares

I made this for a friend's baby shower as it originally appeared in one of my favorite cookbooks, Crazy Plates. I made it a second time and modified the recipe to suit my tastes. Here is my version of "Jolly Good Squares"

Jen's Fluffy Lemon Cheesecake Squares

In a small bowl, mix together:
1 3 oz box lemon jello
1 cup boiling water
Refrigerate until thickened, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile make the crust:
Melt 1/4 cup light butter and blend with 1-1/2 cups low-fat graham wafer crumbs and one tablespoon brown sugar.
Press into the bottom of a 9 x 13" pan that has been sprayed with no-stick spray.
Refrigerate while you make the filling.

Blend 1 block of light cream cheese that has been softened with 1/2 cup sugar, the juice of one lemon, zest from half the lemon, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract until well combined.
Add in the thickened jello and mix well. Fold in 4 cups of light whipped topping that has been thawed. If you are not counting calories, fold in 4 cups of stiffly whipped cream instead. (you may have to add a bit more sugar and vanilla if you are using whipped cream.)
Pour into prepared crust and garnish with the zest from the other half of the lemon.
Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours.

If sliced into 24 squares, each serving is 3 weight watchers points

Prepare dessert in a springform pan and freeze.
Serve dessert drizzled with strained, pureed berries sweetened to taste.
Use filling as a dip for fresh fruit.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Best. Cinnamon. Buns. Ever.

My good friend Cheryl sent me this recipe and now I must share the love. You will thank me for this. Or maybe if your family is like mine, the buns won't last the weekend. Then you may not thank me after all, but consider yourself warned. Cheryl says they freeze well, but you may never find out. If you are feeling dangerous, try them with cream cheese icing and toast your nuts before adding--they will caramelize in the sugar and turn to candy in your buns. (heh, heh, I typed candy buns.)

Soft, Moist and Gooey Cinnamon Buns that will elevate you to domestic god(dess) status and cause your family bow down and kiss the ground you walk on and then volunteer to wash the dishes and do all the laundry and reorganize your shoe collection.

Garlic Pizza Crust

Garlic Pizza Crust

This recipe would make super breadsticks. Brush with butter before baking, or brush with an eggwash and sprinkle with sesame seeds, or a mixture of parm and mozza cheeses. Serve warm marinara sauce on the side for dipping.

Low-Fat Chocolate Bran Muffins

Super-Easy Chocolate Bran Muffins

Mix together:
3 cups All-Bran Cereal with 2-1/2 cups water and let stand 5 minutes.
Add in:
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder and one package of low-fat brownie mix.
Add in some mini chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries or cherries, nuts, if desired.
Blend well and pour into greased muffin tins (or line with know the drill.)
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes

Edited to add: One of my friends said she made these and poured boiling water over the cereal instead of cold and it broke the cereal down a lot better. It greatly improved the texture of the muffins. I tried it and she is right. One more can add All-bran in this way to increase the fiber and decrease the points of other low-fat baking mixes as well. Try it with other muffin mixes, and let me know how they turn out.

If you are counting points: 2 points each if you make 18 muffins, 1.5 points if you make 24 (these will be pretty small)

Do you like food?

I created this blog so that I could have one place to store the recipes I have been posting on my blog. Enjoy. Don't expect any more like the cinnamon bun recipe--I am on Weight Watchers right now!!