Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Comments section/ Christmas Wishes

Thanks to my friends Vicky and Tammy, I realized that I had some funky settings on the comments. Anyone can post a comment now. Sorry about that!
I also wanted to wish all of you a wonderful Christmas. Whether you cook or not, enjoy the time with your family. This picture of my daughter lighting a candle at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC is a good reminder for me of why I celebrate. I thought I would share it with you all.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Egg Nog Biscotti - Sugar Free of Course!

The original recipe called for anise and almonds. I am not a fan of anise or black licorice... yucky... SO, I adapted the flavorings and made an Egg Nog Biscotti - isn't that fun and festive?! The original recipe is from bariatriceating.com, but I believe the creator is Linda at Eating Well, Living Thin. At any rate, this is a GREAT treat for the holidays.

Egg Nog Biscotti

1 large egg
1 large egg yolk (I just used two medium eggs, as the ones from our chicken are pretty small)
1 cup splenda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp rum extract (I used the candy oils and used 3-4 drops)
2 TB melted butter
2 cups ground almonds/almond flour
3/4 cup spelt flour (or white or whole wheat)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (use fresh ground, it's worth it - store the nuts in the freezer)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

With an electric mixer, mix the eggs until thickened a bit, add splenda, butter and extracts and beat a bit more. Combine the dry ingredients and add to the wet and make a thick batter.

I then put it on to parchment paper and make a big 12 inch long turd and pat the top flat. Don't get it too thick or it will crack when you slice it. You can use the parchment to roll it up and help you form it so it doesn't stick to your fingers.

Bake at 350 (on the parchment) and remove when the bottom is brown. Now, don't touch it and let it cool COMPLETELY. Once it's cool use the sharpest serrated knife you have and slice into 1/2 inch thick pieces. I had to "saw" the edges first, then saw the top a bit before I did an actual slicing movement or the little suckers wanted to crack on me. It's a technique, that's for sure. Don't throw away any pieces though, just cook them with the rest for the next step and put them on your yogurt!

Now, take all the pieces and put them back in the oven at 350 for about 8 minutes each side. You want them hard and crunchy. After cooling, store in airtight container. Enjoy with your favorite cup of coffee or tea. Trader Joe's gingerbread coffee is my favorite at the moment.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sugar Free Oatmeal Choc Chip Cookies

Oatmeal chocolate chip are my hubby's absolute favorite. Finding a low carb alternative to rival his mom's is a quest I will continue, but in the meantime, this sugar free (but NOT low carb) version is tasty and compared to the other stuff sitting around the buffet, not a bad alternative.

Really, really sorry about the picture. It's from my phone. I cant find my camera anywhere....

Preheat oven to 350

1 stick of room softened butter
1/2 cup splenda granular
1/2 cup Diabetisweet Brown (or AnyWhey Gold, or Splenda brown sugar)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup spelt flour (or whole wheat)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cup oats
3/4 cup chopped sugar free chocolate (this is one bar chopped) or use SF chocolate chips

Cream together the butter and sweeteners. Add in the egg and vanilla and keep mixing until fluffy. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add to the wet ingredients and combine well. Add oats and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop by one inch balls onto a non-stick cookie sheet (or spray a cookie sheet w/ nonstick spray) and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Let cool slightly before CAREFULLY transferring to rack to finish cooling. These cookies are chewy and they are fragile until fully cooled. Yeild about 2 dozen.
*Why do I use spelt flour? - well, it is a LITTLE higher in protein and lower in carbs than regular white or whole wheat flour. Not much, but I cant tell a difference in the end product, so I use it.
*What is Any Whey Gold? - it's a milk based sweetener that does not cause the blood sugar spike that sugar does. More importantly, it is NOT a sugar alcohol, so it doesnt cause a clearing of the room after ingestion.
*What is Diabetisweet?- it is a sugar alcohol (Isomalt). Sugar alcohols are non-absorbed sugars. They arent absorbed so dont cause rise in blood sugar or a lot of calories, but are digested in the large intestine by gas-forming bacteria. It can cause - well - GAS! These dont affect me or immediate family too much, so I use them. BUT I would always warn a guest about possible side effects.
I have a sugar free biscotti recipe I'm working on. Hope to post soon!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Asparagus Frittata

I figured it was time to start using egg recipes. We have a hen who's giving us about one egg a day and we have THIRTY who will start laying in the spring...

Here's a quick throw-together and my first ever frittata. Thumbs up from family.

1 small onion chopped
2 tbl canola oil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp pepper
8 eggs (If using large eggs, six would do fine - mine are teeny)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
Asparagus (I had frozen pencil thin asparagus that I thawed. I used enough to spread evenly around the skillet)

Preheat broiler

Place canola oil in a oven safe skillet and brown onions. I actually cooked mine until carmelized and the kitchen smelled awesome. I also wanted to lick the skillet, cuz I LOVE carmelized onions! Let the hot onions cool a bit in the skillet. Mix the eggs, spice and cheese in a separate bowl and add back in the onions. Pour everything back into the skillet and place on a low heat and cover. Cook until the whole frittata is set. Place the skillet in the oven and brown the top. (This took about 5 minutes) Remove from oven, let cool slightly and serve.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Apple Cake

This is an adaptation of my friend Lizzie's recipe. Hers called for chopping and peeling apples. I cheat and use sugar free canned apple pie filling. This is such a nice cake for a brunch or after a heavy meal.

Apple Cake

3/4 cup spelt flour (or whole wheat or regular)
1/3 cup almond flour
3/4 cup Splenda granular
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg (use fresh ground and you'll be glad you did)
1 can apple pie filling
1 egg
Mix all ingredient and put in 8x8 cake pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. When you put it in the pan, it will almost look like apples with flour on them. Just spread it out best you can and cut up some of the bigger apple pieces. It will bake fine - I promise!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Protein bars - Homemade!

I do use protein bars as part of my diet. They keep my blood sugar from dropping and stave off the grazing I tend to do during the day. Store bought bars are expensive and tend to be too much like "candy bars" for me. Thus, I probably use them inappropriately. So, this recipe is a stand-by for me. I make them up over the weekend and get 16 bars to use during the week. I use whatever protein powder I have on hand. This week it was cookies and cream. Here's a tip when making these - DONT OVERBAKE. Also, when they are cool, put in ziploc bag in refrigerator and they will be more moist the next day.
Protein Bars
Nutritional Info
Fat: 5.4g
Carbohydrates: 5.5g
Calories: 95.3
Protein: 7.1g

1/2 cup almond flour (grind almonds in blender until fine)1
cup oats (just plain Quaker works fine)
1/2 cup dried powdered milk
3 scoops Protein Powder (I used Matrix Chocolate)
1/2 cup soy flour
1 egg
1/4 cup Sugar Free Flavored Syrup (I used Davinci vanilla)
1/2 cup Sugar Free Pancake syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

Mix dry ingredients and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat egg and add remaining ingridients. Add to the dry and mix until a very sticky cookie-like batter forms.Spray a 8x8 cake pan with nonstick cooking spray (I also put parchment on the bottom) and add the dough. Spread until even. Bake at 350 Degrees for 20 minutes (or until sides are browned). Cool on baking rack and cut into 9 squares. Keep in airtight container in the refrigerator. (There is no sugar to keep preserved). This makes 16 bars.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chocolate Cinnamon Muffins

A nice little muffin for when you get the munchies. I like the cinnamon, but instant coffee granules would be nice too - a "Mocha Muffin".
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup ground flax meal
1/2 cup chocolate protein powder
2 TB cocoa powder
1 heaping tsp cinnamon (I recently discovered Vietnamese cinnamon - wow, this is great stuff)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup splenda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (for moisture - you don't taste this - PROMISE!)
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
3 TB canola oil
1/4 cup sugar free chocolate chips or 1/4 cup chopped SF chocolate bar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Mix wet and dry ingredients separately and combine. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill muffin tins almost to top with batter. Bake for 13 - 15 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove to rack to cool.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's not potatoes!

I was so excited to find this recipe from theworldaccordingtoeggface. I love anything with salsa and cheese. 3 of 5 family members really liked this. Since one is a picky 9 year old who "just doesnt have the same taste as you, Mom" and one is still sucking down Similac, I think I did pretty good.

My modifications (Cuz you know I'm not going to make a recipe "as is") were to use chili seasoning instead of cumin, add a layer of Mexican blend cheese under the topping and use cottage cheese instead of ricotta. Eating leftovers for lunch.

I really like the topping on this. It's much more "mashed potatoey" than a whipped cauliflower topping. I'm glad I added the cheese too.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Easy Asian Bake

Nothing fancy here and no offense to those who want real Asian food. Just threw together for dinner. I didn't plan anything for dinner tonight - which can usually get me in trouble. However, having that pre-cooked hamburger in the fridge made this easy. I really like the flavor, but it was a bit dry. I think next time a bit of cream of (insert name here) soup would make it better or just more liquid and some corn starch to thicken. Thumbs up from hubby, neutral from daughter ("Why are there bread crumbs?" - sigh).

Asian Burger Bake

1 pound ground beef, browned
1/2 small onion chopped
2 TB soy sauce
1 TB Worsteshire sauce
1 TB vinegar
1 cup hot water
1 beef bullion cube
1/4 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
3 cups frozen veggies (I used a blend of edamame, broccoli, sweet red pepper, corn and carrots)
Seasoning salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 TB butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a skillet brown burger and onion then drain. Return to skillet and add the sauces and vinegar. Dissolve the bullion in water and put in skillet. Simmer ground meat for a few minutes while you are microwaving veggies to thaw. Add in veggies and simmer all together. Add cream. Put into a casserole dish and top with crumbs. Dot butter on top and bake until top is golden. (20 minutes or so).

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Orange Pineapple Cheesecake - No bake

I have previously posted this recipe using peaches HERE . I just used mandarine oranges instead. To get the pumpkin shape, I used a pumpkin cookie cutter, buttered the outer edges and pressed it into the cheesecake half way. I then poured the gelatin mixture and removed the cookie cutter after it set. Decorate with mandarine oranges and you're good to go. By the way, this is a DELICIOUS dessert. I'll do with some green and red jello for Christmas. I wonder if you used a second color of jello for in the middle of the cookie cutter if it would stick or look cool... hmm have to try that.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin/TVP "Faux"tmeal

I love oatmeal, but hate the carb cravings it gives me. I was wanting something warm in my tummy on a cold morning and came up with this recipe. TVP is just defatted/dehydrated soy flour. It comes in little protein packed granules (remind me of Grape Nuts) BUT they have to be rehydrated to use. Full of protein and fat free, they are a great substitute for many things, including meat.

Joni's TVP Pumpkin Treat

1/4 cup TVP granules (I use Bob's Redmill)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup pumpkin
Pumpkin pie spice
2 TB fat free cream (or dairy product of your choice)
1 packet of Splenda
Raisins or dried fruit for topping (optional, of course)

First rehydrate the TVP by combining with the water and covering with plastic wrap. Heat in microwave for about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes. Combine with pumpkin, spice and Splenda. Heat in microwave for another minute. Top with dried fruit, toasted coconut or granola.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Week of Family Dinners

So, I haven't been posting a lot. Getting back to work full time with the baby has been an adjustment of major proportions. (Especially since we haven't done this is 9 years!)

I wanted to let you know what I've been cooking. It is possible to get dinner on the table for your family even if you aren't uber organized (that would be me!).

MONDAY: Chili - 1lb ground beef w/ onions and green pepper (I just precook and freeze ground beef to use during the week, making this dish super easy), 1 large can pureed tomatoes, one can kidney beans, one can beef broth, add seasonings (chili powder, garlic powder, turmeric, cumin and a pinch of cayenne). Simmer for about 15 minutes and you're done. Top with sour cream and shredded cheese and we have a complete meal.

TUESDAY: Broke out the crock pot. I put in a pound of stew meat, some baby carrots, cut up turnips and a can of mushrooms (drained). Then the magic ingredient - French onion soup mix (Yes, it is high in sodium...). Sprinkle the soup mix on top and cook on low all day. What a great smell when you walk in the door!

WEDNESDAY: Leftovers- this is our late night, so DH and I had leftovers and I put a frozen pizza in for the kids. Made them eat some carrots and fruit with it - so I guess I'm not a total loser mother!

THURSDAY: Stir fry over cauliflower fried rice.
Peanuty Stir Fry - Kyoto Blend Veggies from Market Day, chicken, 1 can lite coconut milk, 2 TB soy sauce, 1 TB red curry paste, 1 heaping TB peanut butter, garlic powder. I browned chicken and set aside and put veggies in microwave to cook. I then mixed sauce ingredients and simmered a bit. I added back in chicken and veggies. We enjoyed this a lot. I'm eating leftover stir fry today over some angel hair cabbage.

FRIDAY: TGIF - going out to eat! I tend to cook over the weekend, so we usually eat out on Fridays. Mom is ready for a kitchen break by then.

OK - so, fairly nutritious food. All done in about 30 minutes with no fuss. You can do this. You can save money and shed pounds by cooking at home. TRY IT!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Punkin' Puddin'

This is just a throw together recipe. I really just wanted an excuse to post this picture! I also wanted a recipe that didn't use Cool Whip.

Joni's Easy Punkin' Puddin'
4 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese
1/4 cup splenda
1 tbl vanilla DaVinci syrup
1 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I just discovered Viatnamese Cinnamon - wowza, so good)
1 envelope SF vanilla pudding mix
Soften cream cheese and beat in Splenda with blender. Add the pumpkin and then the liquids. Add liquids slowly and beat well, or your cream cheese will be lumpy. Then add cinnamon and pudding mix. Refrigerate until set.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Soup's on - Tomato Basil

I wanted soup and sandwiches because it's a fall thing to me. So, I came up with my version of tomato basil soup based on what I had on hand. Sub out whatever tomato products you happen to have. I dont think you can mess this up and whatever you do will put Campbell's to shame!

Joni's Tomato Basil Soup

6-8 medium tomatoes
2 T tomato past
1 can chicken broth
1 can water
1/2 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1 sweet red pepper
1 T canola oil
1 cup basil leaves
Salt/pepper to taste
1/2 cup fat free half and half (any milk product would work)
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (plus extra for topping)
1/4 cup butter (I used Smart Balance)
Saute onions, garlic and peppers in canola oil until soft. Add broth, water, tomatoes, tomato paste and basil. Simmer 30 minutes. Using a blender, food processor or immersion blender, blend until smooth. (If using a blender or food processor, make sure you vent the top a bit and only blend in small batches - don't burn yourself!). Return to pot and add half and half, butter and cheese while on LOW heat. Take off heat, garnish with more cheese and serve.


The sandwich part of "soup and sandwich" was really good and used up some leftovers.
Stack the following:
1/2 Arnold's bread round (just use one circle - this is open-faced)
2 tsp Alfredo sauce
1tsp real bacon bits
shredded chicken
cheddar cheese

I put these in my convection oven at 375 degrees until the top was browned. If you dont have a convection oven, I would broil for a few minutes to get the top browned. These were YUM!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Donuts - again!

Okay, so I've been making these mini donuts like a crazed woman. Hubby has been eating them, so at least they aren't all on my butt and thighs. I have been trying to get some coconut flour in them as almond flour is so expensive. Coconut flour is much cheaper. If you've every tried to bake with coconut flour, you know it is a moisture sucking fiend. (I think you could use it instead of silica gel in those little packets to keep stuff from getting moisture in it).

So, after several misses - I finally hit the mark. I just couldn't get an acceptable result with NO almond flour, but was able to cut it in half.

Joni's Coconut Flour Cake Donuts
1/4 cup coconut flour1
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup ground flax meal
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 egg
1/4 cup applesauce
2 T melted butter (I use Smart Balance margarine)
2 T milk
2 T Sugar Free Syrup (I used vanilla Torani)
Mix dry, mix wet and combine. Drop into mini donut pan filling almost to top. Bake 350 (NOT 325 like previous donut recipe) for 10 minutes

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rattouille Stew

I hope the ghost of Julia Childs doesn't come back to haunt me. But how boring to name this "Vegetable Soup". Plus it was really good and deserves a fitting name!

Joni's Ratatouille Stew
1/2 onion diced
1 clove garlic minced
2 TB canola oil
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
2 turnips, diced into 1 inch pieces
1/2 - 1 cup diced carrots
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 tsp Herbes de Provence seasoning
1/2 tsp pepper
Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in soup pot. Saute onions until soft then add garlic. Add tomatoes, broth, turnips, carrots, seasoning and pepper. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add zucchini and simmer another 10 or 15 minutes.
Grate cheese over top prior to serving.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I'm Easily Impressed!

Thanks to my friend, Vicky, I discovered how to put the cute little thingy that links you to my sparkrecipes! Cool...

Hope you enjoy them!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Beef Stew - Yup, it's Fall!

This was a perfect day for some beef stew. I love the comforting smell it brings to the house and it's just so tasty. This would easily go into a slow cooker. use whatever veggies you want. I don't like chunks of tomato or celery in my stew, but many would add those.

Joni's Beef Stew

1 pound beef cut into chunks
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning (or any all purpose seasoning salt)
2 tbl oil (I won't tell you that I use bacon grease, I'll lie and say I used canola oil)

Cut up veggies - carrots, 1/2 a large onion, mushrooms, TURNIPS (yes, use them, they take the place of potatoes and you won't miss that starchy little friend at all)

2 bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 beef bullion cubes
2 Tbl tomato paste
Mix flour and steak seasoning in a large ziploc bag. Add meat and toss to coat. Heat oil in pan and add steak to brown on all sides. Transfer meat to large crock for oven. Add veggies to the crock. Sprinkle thyme (about a tsp), salt and pepper over top and add bay leaves.
Mix bullion and tomato paste with the hot water. Pour over everything. Cover with foil and bake 400 degrees for an hour and then lower heat to 250 degrees for 2 hours. If you use a particularly tough cut of meat, you may want to cook a little longer on low.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Low Carb Blackened Chicken Alfredo

This is one of my recipes I have posted on SparkPeople. I made it tonight and, as usual, it was a hit. The cheesy topping is to die for. I used zucchini, mushrooms and carrotts as I didnt have squash or cauliflower. Still was great. Apologies for no picture. I never seem to never remember to photograph this one. It's not particularly photogenic anyway :)

Low Carb Blackened Chicken Alfredo Bake
Nutritional Info
Fat: 12.0g
Carbohydrates: 6.9g
Calories: 240.1
Protein: 26.9g

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Montreal Seasoning
1TBL cooking oil
One cup yellow squash, cubed
One medium sweet onion, diced
One cup cauliflower
Salt and pepper (You can probably just omit salt due to the other seasoning, taste before you season)
One jar alfredo sauce (I used Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/8 cup bread crumbs

Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray.Coat the chicken breasts with the Montreal seasoning and cook in a skillet coated with cooking spray until done. Set aside.Place chopped cauliflawer in microwavable dish, add 2 tbl water, cover with plastic wrap and cook for 4 minutes on high.In the same skillet add cooking oil and saute onions until clear. Add squash and saute until soft. Salt and pepper to taste. Cut cooled chicken into cubes and add to casserole dish with the vegetables. pour alfredo sauce over all. Top with cheese and bread crumbs.
Bake for 20 minutes, then broil on low for 10 minutes until top is brown.
Number of Servings: 8

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm Not Preaching... BUT...

September 28th is Family Day - a day to eat dinner with your family http://casafamilyday.org/familyday/

When have you last sat at your table with your family? I found that lately we've been so busy we've been eating ala carte and I don't like it. How else can you get everyone together at the same time without a TV blaring? The dinner table is the answer.

The meal you see above took less than 30 minutes. It's not gourmet. It's not inventive. It's not expensive. But what it IS is - nutritious, tasty and kid friendly. What's to go wrong with a well prepared steak (which melted in my mouth by the way), watermelon and beans? There were no leftovers, only 3 baking/serving dishes to wash and we sat at the table as a family to enjoy this meal.

As the kids are getting back to school and we gear up for the hustle and bustle of school activities, football games and before we know it, the holidays - don't forget how easy, nutritious and CHEAP it is to feed your family at home.

Here are some other resources -

Friday, September 18, 2009

Blueberry Donuts

In a former life, the blueberry cake donuts always called my name. I made some simple changes to the pumpkin donuts to come up with a really tasty treat. One again a thanks to Shelly at The World According to Eggface for the original recipe I tweaked.

Bluberry Mini Donuts

1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup Splenda
1 egg
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 T milk (I use skim)
2 T melted butter (I use Smart Balance Margarine)
1/4 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray a mini-donut pan with nonstick spray.

Mix dry and in separate bowl mix wet ingredients, then combine. Take the FROZEN (dont use fresh) blueberries and chop up with a small food processor or hand chopper. (I have the pampered chef one). Add to the batter and slowly combine until JUST mixed. If you mix too much you'll have purple donuts. Add batter to the wells in the donut pan until about 2/3 full. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then flip out and cool on a baking rack. I sprinkled mine with powdered erithrytol.

So good and filling.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's Fall - time for another fetish!

PUMPKIN!! Yep, I'm now officially "so over" zucchini and on to my favorite thing about fall - yummy pumpkin.

If you've never read The World According to Eggface, Click here right now!! Anyway, inspired by her mini-donuts, I made some pumpkin donuts. These are very moist and delicious. I rolled mine in splenda and cinnamon when I was done with them. (I cheated and moistened them a bit with some water before rolling, it made more good stuff stick)

Here's the recipe with the nutritional information from sparkpeople.com.

Low Carb Pumpkin Donuts
Nutritional Info
Fat: 5.3g
Carbohydrates: 2.5g
Fiber 1.4g
Calories: 69.5
Protein: 3.8g
1/2 cup ground almonds (almond flour, almond meal)
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup ground flax seeds (yellow ones will look better)
1/4 cup splenda (or splenda brown sugar blend)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup canned pumpkin (plain, not canned pie filling)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
2T milk
2T butter

Directions: Remember if you use the Splenda brown sugar blend, then your calorie count will rise.Preheat oven to 325 and lightly spray the mini donut pan. MIx together ingredients in order until well blended and fill the donut wells 2/3 full. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool and remove from pan. Decorate with a simple glaze or roll in cinnamon/splenda. Number of Servings: 12

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sausage - Bean Casserole

I guess, if this had chicken and duck and you used dried beans and soaked them overnight and then you roasted you're own meat and cooked it in an earthenware dish, then the French wouldn't yell at you for calling it a "Cassoullet", but I'll pass! This was quick and tasty and a great way to use of the last of the tomatoes from the garden. You could easily add some chicken to this. I just didn't have any thawed. Tweaked a recipe from recipezaar for this.

1 lb of chicken sausage (I used a spicy sausage from Trader Joes)
1 diced onion
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup red wine
2 large or 3 medium tomatoes chopped
1 tsp Herbs de Provence seasoning (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme and 1/2 tsp dried rosemary)
1 can white or great northern beans (I found some Bush's beans that were a mixture of both) - drained and rinsed
2 heaping tsp REAL bacon bits (not those crunchy orange things)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Brown the sausage in a skillet. Remove and saute onions and garlic in the drippings (add a little canola or olive oil if needed) until soft. Add the wine and reduce by half. Add in the tomatoes and seasonings. Saute until tomatoes are softened. Then add beans, real bacon bits and sausage. Transfer to baking dish and top with bread crumbs. Bake at 325 for about 1 1/2 hours.

This is SO much better the next day. So make ahead if you want and pop in the oven when you get home from work.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ricotta Custard - No bake

I can't say I'm back to cooking up a storm, but I did come up with this little easy treat. You only have to get your blender dirty!

No Bake Ricotta Custard

2 cups ricotta cheese (cottage cheese would work, I suppose)

1/2 cup Almond Breeze (or any kind of milk is fine)

1 package Jello (I used black cherry - YUM)

1/4 cup of pasturized egg (like Egg Beaters) OR you can use a whole egg, but this is NOT cooked.

** dont skip the egg or egg beaters, you need this for the creamy, custard texture**

Heat the milk in the microwave until almost boiled (1 min 30 secs for me). Put milk in blender and add the jello. Mix on low until jello disolved. Add the ricotta and egg beater. Blend on low until well mixed and creamy smooth.

Chill for 2 hours or over night.

I want to try some cocoa powder with the black cherry jello to make a black forest custard! YUM!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Garden Veggie Quiche

In my ever increasing attempts to use up the big green "Z" and tomatoes AND because I got a new spice I wanted to try out, I came up with this quiche that is wonderful and easy. It's crustless of course.

~Garden Veggie Quiche~
4 eggs
2 tsp Herbs De Provence (My new spice and now I'm in love)
1/2 cup fat free half and half (or cream or milk)
1 cup grated mozzarella-
2 medium tomatoes skinned, seeded and chopped
1/2 a medium zucchini sliced thin (I *heart* my Pampered Chef mandolin slicer)
Mix eggs, spice and half and half with a whisk until slightly foamy.
Line the bottom of a pie plate with the zucchini slices and sprinkle a little salt on them.
Add cheese and tomatoes to the eggs and pour into pie plate. Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes (until browned and the middle is set)
This is really good. I didn't think I'd like it so much!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Zucchini Bread

I know, I know... this chick has a zucchini fetish! Seriously, it's just such a summer staple around here, I use it a lot. Wait until fall when we get the cows to the butcher. You'll think I eat nothing but red meat! I love living on a farm and eating what's fresh and available and FREE!

Anyway, I've been tweaking several zucchini bread recipes. This is an adaptation of one from the Splenda website. I used a mixture of flours to bring the carb count down and also a mixture of sweetners to keep that "Splenda taste" out of it. It is very moist.

Zucchini Bread - Sugar Free/Low Carb

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup almond flour (remember, this is just almonds ground very fine)
1/2 cup coconut flour (you have to order this, you cant grind this yourself)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon

dash nutmeg
Mix all these together and set aside

3 eggs
1/2 cup Splenda granular (NOT the baking blend, that is half real sugar)
1/4 cup Xylitol granules (I get this locally at a health food store, can also be ordered online)
Mix these with an electric mixer at medium spead for about 5 minutes until a nice lemony color.

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
Add these while mixing and then add the dry ingredients until just incorporated.

1 cup shredded, drained zucchini
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans, but walnuts are probably more traditional)

Mix in zucchini and nuts by hand.
Put in spray coated loaf pan. (I would also sprinkle with a little additional flour so it comes out)
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Check middle with toothpick to make sure it's done.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Crock Pot Chicken

I'm not sure what to call this. After the "Great Chicken Massacre", I have a freezer full of chicken. When we decided to grow our own this year, I didn't realize my preggo belly wouln't want chicken. But, I decided to try some cooked to death in the crock pot. This came out tender and moist and I'm looking forward to it tomorrow as a chicken salad.

Joni's Sweet Crock Chicken

One whole chicken cut up (mine was skinless)

1/4 cup of Bulliard's Louisianna Steak Marinade (I get mine at our local Dollar General Store, but I'm sure any soy-based marinade would work)

2 tbl sugar free pancake syrup

1 tsp fresh ground ginger (try powder if that's all you have)

Place chicken in crock and mix the marinade ingredients. Pour over chicken and cook on low all day.

After it was done, I removed the chicken and took it off the bones. If you had skin on yours, remove it now too. Then remove fat from the juice and return juice to crock. Mix 2 tsp corn starch with enough cold water to disolve it. Put this in crock and mix well. Add back in chicken and turn to high. Sauce will thicken a bit.

Hope you like it. This was a thumbs up from everybody. (Including the preggo belly)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Zucchini Pizza Bake

So, I had envisioned in my head how this would turn out and it was NOTHING like my vision. BUT it was good and it IS healthy, so I'll post it. I was thinking I would get more of a "crust" on the bottom, but even with squeezing and draining the shredded zucchini, the bottom was still pretty mushy. Not a bad mushy, just mushy. (LOL... makes no sense, but it was good)

2 cups shredded, squeezed and drained zucchini

2 eggs

1/4 cup Fat Free 1/2 and 1/2

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp oregeno or Italian Seasoning

1/2 cup shredded parmesan

Mix all these ingredients and place in bottom of 9 x 12 pan and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until browned.
While 'crust' is baking, make the topping.
4 Morning Star sausage patties (or whatever sausage you want or ground beef)
1/2 green pepper chopped
3/4 jar your favorite spaghetti sauce
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
mushrooms for topping
In a skillet with a little water cook until softened pepper and sausage. Add sauce and simmer, breaking up the sausage.
Pour this over the crust when it's done and top with cheese and mushrooms. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes until bubble and cheese is browned and melted.

Let this sit for a bit before serving, it will set up nicely.

Like I said, this is tasty, just not what I envisioned. BUT it did use up a nice chunk of zucchini and that was my main goal! LOL

Friday, July 31, 2009

Fabulous Fajitas!

These were SO easy and good. You can whip these up in no time and your family will think you are a superstar!

Easy Fajitas
1 lb steak
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 red pepper sliced thin
1 green pepper sliced thin
1/2 large onion sliced thin
1 tbl lime juice
1/2 tbl canola oil
Sprinkle about 1/3 of the envelope of taco seasoning on the steak both sides and rub it in good.
Sprinkle 1 tbl of the seasoning and 1 tbl of lime juice onto the cut up veggies and mix well. (You'll have about 1/2 an envelope of seasoning left. Just stick it in a ziploc and keep for another recipe or throw in with your chili next time you make it!)
Grill or broil the steak about 5 minutes each side and let set to partially cool. (This allows the juices to stay in the meat and not come out when you cut it)
Put the canola oil in a fry pan over med-high heat and add veggies. Cook until tender. If all your spices stick to the bottom, just add a small amt of water to deglaze that off the bottom.
Thinly slice steak. Serve with veggies, low carb tortillas (I like Mission brand), cheese, sour cream, salsa... whatever. These were really good and EASY!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Peanut Butter and Chocolate...

*** Just wanted to edit this to say - this recipe won me the contest and some great goodies from Kay's Natural! ***
So, I made and submitted this recipe for the Kay's Naturals contest. It's really good and FILLING... argh... should have just had 1/2 a peice.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pretzel Desert

3 bags (1.5oz) Kays Cinnamon Pretzel Sticks
3 tbl butter
1/2 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips (or sugar free)

8 oz light cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granular sweetner (like Splenda)
1/2 cup unsweetened, natural peanut butter
2 tbl sugar free caramel sauce
4oz sugar free whipped topping

4oz sugar free whipped topping

Coarsley crush the Kay's pretzels and melt butter. Mix together and press into the bottom of an 8x8 casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. As soon as you get the crust out of the oven, evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the bottom. Cover with foil and let chips melt. Spread them over the bottom with a spatuala. (it's OK if it's not even or pretty) Set aside to cool.

With a mixer, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, sweetner and caramel until fluffy. Fold in the whipped topping (this is half of an 8oz container). Spread over cooled crust. Top with remaining whipped topping and chill.

Cut into 12 peices.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

There are some fabulous bakers out there!

One of them is Lauren over at Healthy Indulgences.
She has a yellow cake recipe with beans I've been wanting to try forever. Well, yesterday was the day. This cake was moist, flavorful and everything you would want in a cake - Oh ya, also gluten free, sugar free and no white flour!

The recipe is here. I actually didnt tweak this too much. I just used liquid sucralose (Fiberfit) instead of stevia and didnt make cupcakes, since the my cupcake pan doesnt fit in my countertop oven and it was too hot to turn the big oven on.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

When Shrimp Attack...

Made a quick meal 3 out of 4 of us enjoyed. DD won't even think about eating shrimp. Oh well, more for us.

What you see are just sliced cucumbers (from our garden, of course), green beans (from the same soil as the cukes) and shrimp scampi.

The shrimp was made from this recipe - http://www.recipezaar.com/Shrimp-Sci-26321 - however, I cut WAAAYYY Y down on butter/oil. It was still tasty.

Beans were simmered in some water until tender/crisp. I then added seasoning salt and real bacon bits and simmered a little longer. We gobbled these up.

Cukes are just sliced with low fat Italian dressing - boring, but good!

Hope you are all enjoying the bounty of your gardens! I love this time of year.

Not creative - but good!

So, we were planning on going out to eat, but then didn't feel like packing the kids up. Now I needed dinner on the go. In the old days, that would have meant calling up for pizza delivery or putting some chicken nuggets and fries in the oven. Well, with a semi-stocked pantry and freezer, I knew I could do better.

This is my "go to" meal when I'm too tired to cook. It just involves opening cans. There are so many versions of this on the internet, but really it will work with whatever you have in your cupboard.

~Mexican Skillet Chicken and Beans~

Cooked chicken (shredded, diced or even canned)

Can of diced tomatoes (mine were plain, but Rotel would give it a kick)

1/2 jar of salsa or picante sauce or taco sauce

Can of drained and rinsed beans (Black, kidney, pinto)

Toppings - shredded lettuce, cheese, sour cream (or plain yogurt), cilantro, guacamole

Put everything in the skillet and simmer on low until well incorporated. If you have a lot of chicken like I did, this will be more of a casserole. With less chicken, it will be more of a stew. You can serve over rice, if that's what you like or roll it up in a tortilla.

So quick and good. Leftovers today for lunch!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Quick, Healthy Dinner

Last night I needed a quick dinner. I had a whole bag of frozen tilapia fillets in the freezer, so did a quick thaw and perused recipezaar.com for some recipes. I came up with this mish mash of several I found on there. It got thumbs up from ALL the family - even the kids. (yes, I hit my head on the counter when I fainted). The little salad you see is cucumber, tomato and basil from my garden with a simple white wine vinaigrette. (1tbl white wine, 2 tbl vinegar, 2 tbl olive oil and a bit of splenda).

~Pecan Coated Tilapia~

5 tilapia fillets

3 oz ground pecans (This ended up being about 2/3 cup after I put the pecans in the blender)

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper (my pepper is very spicy, so you might want to use more depending on your spice)

Salt to taste

1 egg

1 tbl skim milk

Heat oven to 425

In a shallow bowl whisk egg and milk. In another shallow bowl mix pecans, panko crumbs, cayenne and salt. Coat the fish in the egg wash and then in the pecan mixture. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining fish. Bake for 20 minutes.

The fish was very moist and tender. I think adding some Parmesan to the coating would be really good and I'll try that next time. Leaving out the cayenne and maybe using Italian spices...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Berry Tasty Dessert

~Berry Bake~

This is somewhere between a crisp and a cobbler. You can call it what you want. My family called it YUMMY!

2 cups frozen berries (hey use fresh if ya have em)
1/4 cup granular splenda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup Quaker Oats
1/4 cup ground flax
1/4 cup spelt flour (use whole wheat, it's OK)
1/4 cup unsweetened ground coconut
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/4 cup flavored syrup (I used DaVinci French Vanilla)
2 packets Splenda (Cuz I like things sweet)
In a small baking dish combine berries, granular splenda and cinnamon. In a bowl combine dry ingredients. Beat egg and syrup and add to the dry ingredients. Spread this mixture over the berries and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until top is browned.
This is best if you let it set for 1/2 hour or more. The juice from the berries gets into the top crust and it is yummy. Serve with SF ice cream, some milk over top, whipped cream or eat alone. It's all good!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cheesy Low Carb Fancy Chicken

This is an adaptation of a recipe I found on RecipeZaar (Recipe #347196 if you're interested).
It's probably one of my hubby's favorites. The sauce is not very thick. If you wanted a thick sauce, adding some cornstarch or flour would do that nicely. This seems like a "fancy" dish, but whips up pretty quickly. I served it with some mixed vegetables and a berry dessert. (Recipe tomorrow)
I used about 5 small chicken breast halves.
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tbl olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesean
1 triangle of Laughing cow light swiss cheese.
Directions: In a skillet on med/high heat, brown chicken breasts on both sides in one tbl of olive oil. Transfer chicken to baking dish. Turn heat to medium and use the remaining olive oil and cook onions until transluscent and then add garlic and saute until tender. Deglaze the pan with the wine. (this just means you add the wine and scrape up all the chicken bits from the bottom of the pan) Add the chicken broth and bring heat up to simmer. Add the laughing cow in small cut up bits and stir until melted. Add the mushrooms and continue to simmer. Once mushrooms are softened, place mixture on the chicken breasts and cover with cheeses.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Chicken should be cooked through and cheese should be melted.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Protein and Zucchini??

Yep, I'm going there. I made some protein bars and used up some zucchini. I took these little darlin's on vacation with me and they made a great breakfast every morning.

~Zucchini Bread Protein Bars~

1/2 cup of each of the following:
*Oats blended to a "flour" (used my blender and some Quaker Oats)
*Ground Almonds (Almond flour/Almond meal are the same thing)
*Ground Golden flax (use the golden if you have it - they'll look nicer and it has a milder taste)
3 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup soy flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar free vanilla syrup like Torani or Davinci
1/2 cup sugar free pancake syrup (I used cheap WalMart brand)
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 tsp vanilla
Mix dry ingredients and set aside. In separate bowl, beat egg with remainder of ingredients. Add wet to dry and mix. This looks like a big sticky blob. It is not nice smooth cake batter.

Spray a 8x8 cake pan VERY well with Pam. (You can also use parchment paper). Add the dough to the pan and smooth it out. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. Bake until the sides just start to brown. Dont overbake.

Cool on baking rack and cut into 9 squares. I store them in a big ziploc in the fridge after they are completely cooled. I think they stay more moist this way.

I did not have to use oil w/ this recipe. These bars were VERY moist.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

MIA - For good reason!

Sorry I've been MIA - promise more recipes to come. But dontcha' think this is a good reason for the absence! I love VACATION!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Apple Zucchini Pancakes

OK, I told you I was working on combo-ing these together. These turned out like a little bite of apple pie... Seriously.

The pancakes are a bit stubborn to flip. If you are a cottage cheese pancake maker, you'll do fine. If not - listen up - make these fairly small. Cook them LOW and SLOW. Don't be adverse to some butter or canola oil in the pan. Don't expect them to be crispy little hash browns.

OK - on to the recipe.

2 cups shredded zucchini (peel it if you are trying to hide it from the kids or juvenile adults) Put zucchini in colander to drain a bit while you are assembling your ingredients to get out the extra moisture.
1 cup shredded tart apple
4 tbl Splenda granular
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of pumpkin or apple pie spice
1 egg
2 tbl spelt flour (or white, whole wheat, coconut flour - whatever your preference)
2 tbl ground flax (this keeps getting healthier and healthier :) )

Mix all together and let sit for a few minutes to thicken up. In a skillet melt a bit of butter or canola oil. Over a medium low heat (I use 3 on a scale of 10 on my stove. Now if your stove goes up to 11... well then I guess your out of luck!) cook them until browned and CAREFULLY flip.

Transfer to a plate and let cool a bit. They do become a bit firmer after sitting a few minutes. I then put SF caramel on mine!

These definitely passed the taste test for my 15 year old and he got zucchini and flax in a dessert! Yea me!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The oven is cold today... sorry

The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while Nature cures the disease -Voltaire

No cooking today. I have a BIG test tomorrow. I thought this quote was quit appropriate since my test is in the medical field. I wonder what they would think if I just wrote this on the front of the test and left? Ya, probably wouldn't appreciate it. Oh well - back to the grind.

I promise more recipes to come. I am working on something (in my mind) to use up the rest of the zucchini's and apples. Sounds good, right?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Zucchini and Squash out the Ying Yang!

What is a ying yang? 0.O
Anyway, I have some gorgeous early summer squash and zucchini my wonderful uncle gave to me out of his garden. This is a recipe I developed last summer and my kids LURV it! If you can get your children (either of the juvenile or adult nature) to try it, I promise they will come back for seconds! This is easily baking in your oven while you grill. I love using my countertop convection oven so it doesnt heat up the kitchen.

This recipe is stored with a lot of my others at http://www.sparkrecipes.com/ . I enter most my recipes here to get the nutritional information.

Have a super day!

Baked Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

Nutritional Info
Fat: 1.5g
Carbohydrates: 6.5g
Calories: 49.4
Protein: 2.5g

20 zucchini slices (This was about 3/4 of a very large zucchini)
1/3 cup liquid egg substitute (or one whole egg and one egg white)
2 Tbs Miracle Whip Light
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (I'm not usually a food snob, but please dont use the canned stuff, it won't melt up and get nice and cheesy like fresh)
1 cup Panko Bread crumbs (much better than regular bread crumbs... trust me on this)
1.5 tsp seasoning salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a large cooking sheet with nonstick sprayMix the egg substitute and the the miracle whip until creamy. Add a tsp or so of water to thin it out a bit. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Dip zucchini in egg mixture, then into the crumb mixture, place on cookie sheet until all gone. Bake about 8 minutes (until brown on bottom), flip and bake another 5 minutes or so.These are very savory and cheesy. We love them!
Number of Servings: 15

Monday, July 6, 2009

More Chocolate!

I have tweaked many, many recipes. I think this is one of my favorites. My friend Vicky loves this recipe as well. So in honor of her being the very FIRST follower on my blog, I thought I'd post this recipe for you all. Thanks Vicky and HUGS! For all you pumpkin haters, I promise you can't taste it in here.

Chocolate Flax Muffins
Nutritional Info
Fat: 9.9g
Carbohydrates: 6.4g
Calories: 134.7
Protein: 7.6g


1/3 cup ground almonds
2/3 cup ground flax seed (flax meal)
1/3 cup splenda granular
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I use Max protein from GNC)
2 tsp baking powder
1 square unsweetened baking chocolate
1 Tbl powdered milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not flavored/spiced for pies)
1/4 cup sugar free syrup (I use DaVinci French Vanilla)
1 TBL plus 1 tsp oil


Mix the flax, almond, baking powder, splenda and chocolate protein powder and set aside.In a bowl large enough to accomodate the remaining ingredients (ie, larger than a cereal bowl), place the baking chocolate and melt SLOWLY in the microwave. Stir and break up every 10 seconds (Dont burn the chocolate). Once almost melted, stir vigorously to complete the melting. Add in the powdered milk. Add in one of the eggs and stir, stir, stir until it's incorporated. It will eventually incorporate, be patient. Then add remaining eggs until smooth. Stir in pumpkin, oil and syrup. Add the wet to dry and stir well. Let batter sit for 5 minutes and put into silicone muffin tins or spray with nonstick spray. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until the top is firm to touch. Makes 9 muffins.

Fruits of my Labor...

The apples were very tart because they were so early. The dumplings turned out OK. DH loved them because of the tartness. However, Mrs. Sweet-tooth (guilty) found them not sweet enough. The apple butter I do like. It almost reminds me of rhubarb because of the tartness. I'll be putting this on my cottage cheese for lunch. YUM!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Apples and lots of em'

Well, I have to do something with my apples today. I'm going to make some dumplings using low fat Pilsbury crescent rolls, splenda and brown sugar. I'll make a sauce with SF Smuckers Caramel sauce to go over them.

The rest will go into the crockpot for apple butter.

Basic recipe for apple butter
Apples - cut and peeled
Optional spices - nutmeg, allspice, cloves

Put all this in your crock and cook for 10 or more hours. Dont take the lid off. About halfway through, smoosh 'em real good. Otherwise try to resist peaking. Did you know you lose 30 minutes of cooking time everytime you take the lid off your slow cooker?

I have seen a few recipes that add vinegar. I have never used this and not sure what it contributes. My apple butter always turns out good without it.

I also like to use some sugar free cinnamon syrup (DaVinci brand) to give it a little more "hot cinnamon" taste. Like those little cinnamon red hot candies. Remember those?http://www.ferrarapan.com/html/rh_history.html

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

For those who have served and are still serving and to the families that support them....


We have a pretty uneventful 4th.Scored 10 lbs of apples for 5 bucks at our farmers market. Will have to come up with a recipe for these. I wanted to share the dessert recipe I'm taking to a picnic tonight. (No apples in this one :) )

~No Bake Pineapple/Peach Cheesecake~

I wanted to call this Pee-Pee Pie, but thought twice.

1/2 cup almond meal
2 cups sugar free cookies (I used the Joseph's Pecan Shortbread)
1/2 stick of butter, melted
1/4 cup splenda
1 can crushed pineapple (in it's own juice) - juice strained and fruit squeezed dry to within an inch of it's life
-2 8oz packages light cream cheese, softened to room temp
-1/2 cup splenda
-1 sleeve of sugar free instant jello pudding for one (OK, not sure if you need the pudding mix, but I was paranoid it wasnt going to set up, so I threw it in. I'm sure it would be fine without. If you are a confident, self-assured person - leave it out)
-1 16 oz container Cool-Whip (I use sugar free, but there are a million other versions and they all basically have the same stats... not sure if it matters which you use)

Crush cookies in blender and add to rest of crust ingredients. Press into either two pie plates or a flat casserolle. I think a 9 x 11 pan would be too big. The one I used is about 7 x 10. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes and let cool. * you could skip all this and get a graham cracker crust.

With a mixer, blend cream cheese and splenda, add pudding and blend some more. Add pineapple and mix in by hand. Fold in cool whip by hand. Spread onto cooled crust and refrigerate.

IF YOU ARENT FAINT OF HEART and are channelling your inner Martha.... Then you can make the peachy glaze to go on top. You can also stop right here.
Use the juice of the pineapple you drained, heat on stove top with corn starch (start with 1 1/2 tsp and go from there) and some splenda to taste. Bring to a very slow boil, stirring constantly. Sprinkle 1/2 envelope of SF orange jello. When thickened, take off heat and add in some canned cut up peaches. Let cool slightly and put glaze over top the pie. This is really pretty and good.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Kids... Gotta love em!

No reason to post this other than she's so beautiful!

Tweak, tweak... Chocolate cookies!

Chocolate cookies!

As promised, here's the tweak on the 7 ingredient cookie. This is a bit lower carb and makes a nice soft, cake-like chocolate cookie. It is the base of my sugar free brownie sundae. I can also imagine making a filling out of some cream cheese, coolwhip and splenda and having an old fashioned "whoopie pie". Those are actually what I'm reminded of with the texture. Never had a homemade whoopie pie?? http://www.recipezaar.com/Whoopie-Pie-Cookie-Sandwiches-288355 - Here ya go!

On to the recipe -

1 egg
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbls cocoa (I used Hershey's)
dash of salt
2 scoops of chocolate protein powder (uh oh.... franken-food!) (just pick up some at your local health food store or even Walmart - good brands are Matrix, Max Protein, Designer Whey)
1/2 cup Almond Meal (Bob's Red Mill or just put some unroasted almonds in a blender and pulse slowly until they are fine crumbs. Keep pulsing and mixing or you'll get almond butter)
1/2 cup ground flax seeds (easy to find or just grind your own. Bob has these too.)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 - 1/2 cup splenda granular (to taste)

Mix all together and then... LET IT SIT.... clean your junk off the counter. Put your almond meal and flax back in the refrigerator (yes, I want you to store it there). Get out a cookie sheet and spray with non stick or line with parchment, cuz these puppies will stick. Preheat oven to 350. OK, about 5 minutes has passed. NOW you can put them on the cookie sheet. (It takes time for the flax to absorb some of the liquid, so this is why they are sitting)

Take a big spoon and plop little cow paddies onto the cookie sheet. This is runny, it's OK. Dont panic and add... gasp~ flour to them. Bake for 12-15 minutes (check them, b/c cooking time varies depending on how big you make them). Let them cool for a bit on the sheet and then transfer to a rack to cool.

Have fun - I mean it is chocolate. How could you not have fun?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Introducing... ME

I'm not a writer and I'm not pretending to be one in either real life or cyber space. I just wanted a place to put all my kitchen creations, thoughts on family and life and any other disjointed ramblings crossing my mind.

I cook for a family of 4 (soon to be 5) and we try for low carb meals. I'm not opposed to using "franken-food" to accomplish this goal. (Splenda, sugar alcohols in moderation and weird grains and flours) I'll put some of my recipes out here and if you tweak em' or try em' - let me know!

I have lots of thoughts on - pregnancy after age 40, the healthcare system, child rearing, kids with special abilities and other stuff. I may get brave enough to post those some day, but for now it's all about the FOOD!

The first recipe is NOT my own, I have just seen it on various message boards. I'll publish my own tweaks of it later, but for now - here's the original.

7 Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup splenda
1 cup oats (not sure if steel cut would work, I've just used rolled oats)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
** OK now is when I'm thinking - "What the heck is the seventh ingredient??????"
1 tsp cinnamon... whew, thought my Alzheimer's was kicking in

Just mix them all together and drop by little mounds onto a cookie sheet with nonstick spray. These will NOT rise or spread out, so you need to mound them up into whatever shape you want them to be. DONT spread them out. They are VERY runny, but they'll stay together.
Bake 350 for 15 minutes. They are VERY cake-like and not chewy at all. BUT at 70 calories a piece, they are great.

My tweak on this was to make them chocolate! Then I put some SF vanilla ice cream and SF chocolate syrup on them and I had myself a brownie sundae. I'll post that recipe later.